Werner Herzog on Reading.
Yes, I went and did it. I hated on TV. Well, to be fair it was Werner Herzog who hated on tv in favor of reading. And he is no stranger to the controversial comment.
But in this case, I think he has a point.
When I read, I feel like I am diving into a world I couldn’t access outside of a book. I feel like I’m stepping through a door. Granted, there are people out there who we now know can’t picture things in their mind while reading the way I do. But the fact remains, for me I see more of the world inside a book that I would if I never read.
TV is different.
And, let’s be honest-I do watch TV. I was so upset when I found out that next season is that last Downton Abbey will have that my boss came in my office and asked me who died. I just said, “Downton.” It’s the ringtone on my phone. No, that’s not a joke.
And don’t even get me started on how I feel about how long they make us wait between Sherlock seasons.
But the purpose of TV is to escape.
I want to leave my world and go somewhere else when I watch. I want to drop my identity completely. When I read, I feel like I’m still there, as me, but wandering along inside the world of the book. When I finish, I wander around inside the story for a while, but it’s less jarring than the end of an episode or leaving a theater and blinking in the daylight. I didn’t realize this until I found this quotation. Thanks, Werner!
What is the difference between watching a story and reading it for you? We did start to talk about the difference between listening to a book and reading it a bit- more to come there- but I’d be curious about how people balance reading and watching TV and movies.
Have you lost the world, or do you own it? Or do you think Werner Herzog’s reading theory is total crap? Discuss…
A gift before you go...
Get your Copy of Meangingful Units, an eBook and Worksheet to get your draft done along with Footnotes, weekly literary love delivered right to your inbox.