There aren’t many books I’ve read more than once…

There are plenty of movies I’ve watched dozens of times. Wizard of Oz and It’s a Wonderful Life are probably right up there with Star Wars, Empire and Jedi. Once I’ve read a book, I don’t feel the need to revisit it. I think it has to do with how connected I feel to the book.

They say, “The book is always better than the movie.” That feels true for me because I fill in all the pieces of the story with my imagination. No matter how true to the source material a movie is, a director can’t duplicate the stunning world I can create with my imagination. No actor’s performance, no matter how nuanced can capture the mental images I create when reading a story. It’s not even close.

So I guess, for me at least, I revisit movies to capture some of that magic a book gets right by omission. The author gives a reader enough broad strokes to build the world, and a few specific details for their characters, whatever the story needs to progress. The rest of the story should be in my mind anyway. The stories I love the most let me fill in the rest of the details as I read.

That may mean my Emerald City looks nothing like the movie sets, and my theft of the Enterprise from Spacedock looked nothing like Shatner’s heist. They are tiny vignettes of my imagination, inspired by words on a page. Each book I’ve read (usually only one time) has scenes like that, infinitely more real to me than the best film version. Seeing those scenes come to life on screen is exciting, but the internal scene is always better.

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