Reading the book instead of watching the film adaptation grants the reader a deeper access to his or her imagination and activates more creative parts of the brain.
Even as broke college students, a lot of us have traveled to many different places, including Narnia, Hogwarts, Terabithia, the Hundred Acre Wood, Middle Earth, a galaxy far, far away, and Wonderland — where readers could believe in as many as six impossible things.
Books are the beautiful planes that have allowed the world to travel and create. However, these worlds can drastically change when the movie version is watched first.
Even the act of opening a physical book feels more rewarding than pressing buttons on a remote. A physical book gives readers a sense of progress and requires more concentration. It is more difficult to break away from an immersive read than to open a new tab.
Reading a book also helps promote mental health and intelligence. According to Reader’s Digest, reading increases empathy, which “can lead to more (and more positive) human interaction, which in turn can lower stress levels — both of which are proved to help you live longer and healthier.”
The article also states that reading a book forces you to think critically and make connections which forge literal, new pathways in your brain, promoting quicker thinking and potentially providing greater defense against cognitive decay.
Film and TV are meant to be passive and, typically, present viewers with surface-level details. In reading a book, however, your imagination and creativity take control.
In a study conducted in 2013 at Emory University, college students were selected to read “Pompeii” by Robert Harris and their reactions were measured by fMRI readings, which measure brain activity.
According to the study, the students experienced an increase in brain activity related to language and sensory motor skills. The spike in sensory skills insinuates that the students were so involved with the book that they felt what the character experienced.
Of course, movies are just as vital and imaginative as books. Unlike reading a book, watching movies can be done socially and some can paint a vivid and realistic portrait of some novels.
But still, the only true way to reach Narnia is not through a glowing screen, but by opening a book’s yellow pages and allowing the spine to creak. It takes more magic than pushing mere buttons on a remote, but it is so worth it. Once the wardrobe is found, never look back.