Beyond the screen: Discovering the benefits of reading over watching movies

By Umurungi Gisele
On 2 January 2024 at 06:25

Do you enjoy reading books? How many of them have you read since you knew how to read? I am not sure what the count is, but I can bet on the fact that the number is as small as a mustard seed.

However, I am sure your answer would have changed if the word ‘books’ was replaced by ‘movies’. Does that hit the bell? Did I remind you of your favorite movie scene? While we’re still at it, how many movies have you watched ever since you got a laptop or smartphone? Not a number that you can remember, right?

If we all try to be honest, we can agree on the fact that watching a captivating movie is as sweet as melting a cold strawberry ice cream on a sunny Sunday. Reading a book, on the other hand, is boring, and requires strength and thinking. This is why most of us prefer holding a laptop and lazily watch a movie, than putting our minds into reading something.

Nevertheless, haven’t you ever thought that people who try to read are always a bit wiser? I mean they always have an idea about almost everything, right? According to Benjamin Franklin, “The person who deserves most pity is a lonesome one on a rainy day who doesn’t know how to read”.

Do you think that is based on the mere fact that reading is fun? If that was true, I am sure movies, and not books, would have been the best candidate. If we go into the depths, we will be able to learn about a hundred reasons why books are better than movies in almost every single aspect.

Reading improves memory

When reading a book, you’ve got a lot to do other than just sitting and painting your eyes on a paper. You have to recall a character, their description and everything about them whenever they are mentioned. This exercise given to our memory helps it to strengthen its capacity. This is why reading is believed to help people who have clinical symptoms related to recalling things.

Books form better mental images

Just imagine you’re reading a novel. By a simple description as “a tall brown guy with broad shoulders and a lithe body whose smell is evocative of the lavender flowers blooming gracefully on the river side”, the brain can create a more captivating character that is not as easy to depict in visual images. This is why reading is deemed as an active exercise while watching movies is just passive.

Expanded vocabulary and grammar

Movies can also help you improve your vocabulary, but when it comes to books, that is almost their specialty. Books expose us to new phrases and figures of speech that are almost impossible to notice in a movie. This is because while watching movies, one is attentive to the images in front of them while every word, punctuation and space counts while reading.

Sense of accomplishment

If you have read a book and ended it, you must understand my feelings on this. Watching your hands as you flip the last page of a book and reflecting on the long journey of reading gives a sense of accomplishment, success and pleasure that just watching a movie can never give.

Movies are, in their own way, appealing and fantastic. However, books are much better in terms of knowledge and experience. I am not telling you to stop watching your ride-or-die movies, because even I can’t, but it is almost time you started considering reading books too. If you give it a try, you’ll learn that books are just blessings in disguise!