How Do You “See” the Books You Read?


This post is by Emily Asher-Perrin from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


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Inevitably, when someone is trying to advocate reading over watching things on screens, some variation of this old joke gets made: “Books are like movies inside your head!” This assumes everyone can—and does—create a full mental picture when they read, complete with sets, landscapes, costumed characters, and easy-to-follow action.

But that’s not how it works for me.

I’m fascinated by the variety of ways people “see” (or don’t see) books as they’re reading them. Most of the people I know are those “movie” types, where everything plays out clearly, created by the firmament of their minds. It leaves me paralyzed with envy, as I try in vain to picture (ha) what that must be like. My visual imagination is apparently content to leave quite a lot to the imagination. There are whole fields of study dedicated to how visual imagination works, and even more about how to “train” ...