How to ‘Watch’ a Book

When you watch a movie, do you just watch for 10 minutes and then stop and carry on the next day or next week? No? Why not? Because that’s no way to watch a film. By the time you return to continue watching, you’ve probably forgotten what happened–and even if you don’t forget, it sure doesn’t make for a pleasant and seamless viewing experience. The whole point of watching a movie is to immerse yourself in the story.

If this is how we watch films, why don’t we read books in the same way?

“Books are harder work” I hear you say. But are they really? Imagine watching an entire film with subtitles (Parasite I’m talking about you!)–is that harder work? Yes and no. Yes initially, but after a while, you forget you’re even reading and get lost in the story.

Aren’t books similar? I think so. Doesn’t matter what kind of book either (largely!)–fiction or non-fiction, everyone of them is trying to tell you a story–a cohesive narrative about a particular topic.

For that reason, try approaching your book-reading in the same way you approach your moving-watching and you might just end up finishing more books. Granted you don’t have to finish a whole book in one sitting like you would a film, but the general principle is still worth exploring.

The next time you want to read a book, approach it like a movie: make special time for it (don’t just pick it up haphazardly); set aside an hour and a half at least; get yourself comfortable; prepare for the long haul and to read a significant amount; get ready with some snacks; and read away.

Movies are informative, entertaining and educational—the same as books. But I can probably guarantee that you’ve watched more films from start to finish than you’ve read books from beginning to end. I get it, it’s easier to watch a movie because your brain doesn’t have to work as hard. But who wants to have a sloppy, undisciplined mind that can’t concentrate on a few words for an hour? Certainly not the kind of person who might find themselves reading this! In that case, the next time you want to read a book, try approaching it in the exact way you would approach watching a movie, and see what happens. If you keep it up you might just find that you can get through more books.