Friday, November 7, 2014

The Reader's Code

There are two types of readers in this world.

There are the readers that do it for fun - for something to do, for following trends (e.g. the Hunger Games, Divergent, etc.), for finding out what happens. Those are the readers that will leave a book unfinished more often than not, who will think of a book as just that - a story about things that happen.

Then there are the Deep Thinkers. This is, in my opinion, a whole category of personality, but it also is a type of reader. If someone is a Deep Thinker, they will almost certainly be a serious reader.
Serious readers don't just read - they take in the book, they want to know what's next - they give it a little place in their heart. Every book you read marks their view on the world a little - alters how they think in almost unrecognisable ways. But these changes are there. How different would a person be if they had never read those books? How different are the minds of light readers and the serious readers? My guess is . . . pretty damn different.

I don't know about other Deep Thinkers/serious readers, but me? I read for the SOUL. I fill up my soul with stories and reading and grand escapades, characters and different worlds. Writers are creators of worlds, (and I could think of so many "what if's" on that tangent, but that's another post) creators of PEOPLE - like they are the gods of their little created worlds. And when I read, I immerse myself in it completely. It's like a time warp: I can sit down to flip through a few pages, but I end up being sucked in - and after what feels like ten minutes, I look up to the clock and am shocked to see that a whole hour has passed.

Me in a book store is like an alcoholic in a liquor store. There's so much potential, so much to be read, so many unsung and undiscovered gems possibly lying around! I discovered the Lunar Chronicles, and I can only hope it's possible to find a new series just as good after I have read it all (only 2 BOOKS LEFT. And they haven't come out yet).

But what if I never do? After I've read those last two books for the first time, I can never read them for the first time again, and though they will still be spectacular, magical books, it's never quite the same as reading it for the first time (though the Lunar Chronicles feel fresh upon every read, something you don't really get with other book series). What if I will never discover gems again, and will spend my life mourning that?

What I was hoping to say, without having to go too off tangent, was this: an important value in a serious reader is that they follow an unanimous code:

1. You must never, ever spoil a story for someone. This includes giving away the plot twists, the book endings, and giving them any information as to what happens in the story - whether it's just one book or a whole series. Trust me - serious reader or not, that someone will not thank you for it. And you will have violated your honour as a reader who respects the sacred sanctity of reading.

2. If reading a series, you must read the books in their proper order. Skipping a book, because it isn't available in the library or for whatever reason, isn't a good option. It spoils the book you missed, so that you won't be surprised and will never know the joy in reading that book for the first time. You will never know what you were missing in that. Also, it's just proper to read them in order.

3. If a movie based on the book comes out, you must read the book before watching the movie. More often than not, the book is the better of the two - and besides, it tells how things really happened. A movie might give you a distorted view of the story. Also, movies include surprises (audio sets the mood, and visuals - well, we all know the monster-jumps-out-of-the closet-theme!), but if you read the book after seeing the movie, you can't really be surprised. The experience of watching the movie is so much better when you know how things happened, but have yet to a) cement your mind's eye visual of the proceedings, b) see it all come to life.

If there's anything you think should be included in this code, leave a comment, but I think this is what's most important. It sort of encompasses the respect for reading that we should all have.

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