Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Books and stuff

I was never really fond of books. I thought they were too boring to read, it takes too much of my time, and they are not so exciting. However in the past few weeks I've come to realize that books are like any other form of entertainment for our species: movies, music, computer games etc. You need to find the ones you most like, the certain types that suit your profile better.

From all the movies in the world, any single person probably watches 1% of them (say, the Hollywood blockbusters). From all the music in the world, each person probably ignores 99% of it and chooses to listen the 1% that seems more interesting to him/her. From all the computer games around, I probably like 1% of them (say, adventure games with strong plot and riddles rather than graphics). From all the professions in the world, I tend to like more Electrical Engineering and not enjoy the rest 99% of jobs around.

The same thing apparently holds true for books. You just need to find books that you like and seem interesting to your character and interests. The books that I am reading lately I found out that they are quite exciting and fun and I was never bored - I probably made a few good choices. So why people don't read books as much as they watch movies?

I believe that in books it is harder to discover the ones you tend to love, exactly because it takes so much time to actually read one. You can watch a movie in 2 hours and instantly decide whether you like this type or this director. You can switch between tv shows in a matter of seconds and decide which one you enjoy more. You can listen to many different songs very fast (especially in our digital age).

None of these facts hold true for books though. Depending on the writing, it may take 20h to read a 400 page book. That is 3 orders of magnitude more time than other forms of entertainment. And this means that it may require 3 orders of magnitude more time to decide on what type of books you like. But when this happens, and it will happen, it is so much more rewarding...