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Books Do So Much For You That No TV Show or Movie Ever Could

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Wisconsin chapter.

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A newfound appreciation for books and reading for fun has emerged over the last few years. With the help of platforms such as Youtube and TikTok—or in this particular case, “BookTube” and “BookTok”—reading is now a trend. People read books that are popularized through these platforms and share their thoughts and opinions. I fell into this trend last summer and very quickly realized how enjoyable reading really is. People are able to connect with stories in books in ways that watching TV cannot replicate, so it is no coincidence that this took over the internet.

The biggest difference between TV and books is the opportunity to imagine. The words on the page leave a lot of room for interpretation, and readers tend to make worlds created in books their own. This also allows authors to create characters with vague physical descriptions, or ones that are not supposed to look any particular way at all. I noticed this especially in a lot of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s books. In particular, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. Although Evelyn Hugo’s appearance was often described, it seemed as though Taylor Jenkins Reid wanted to create a character that was unattainably beautiful and visually “perfect.” Since visual perfection does not exist in our world, the idea of this perfectly beautiful person can never be brought to television without losing some of the character’s original mystique.

Books also make room for writing techniques such as multiple perspectives and intertextuality. It is common for authors to write from multiple perspectives and switch between them as the story unfolds. This allows readers to get inside the heads of different characters and read the story through completely different lenses. Although this is done in visual media as well, it does not have the same effect. Words on a page can allow a reader to really imagine that they are in a character’s mind and truly understand the character’s motivations. Intertextuality is also used a lot in literature. This term refers to the use of sources like letters, interviews and notes within a book. Authors have the freedom to insert these at any point in the book, and since these things are meant to be read, they do not translate well to television. 

Many books are good because of their stories, but many are also good because of their words. Books can be engrossing with or without a big plot because people often fall in love with an author’s diction. I find The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller to be an example of a book that would not be the same without the author’s word use. Although this book tells an eventful story, the way Madeline Miller chose to craft her sentences and string everything together is the true appeal of the book. The Song of Achilles takes place during a war, but nothing about the diction is violent. People weep over this story and the relationship the author created between Patroclus and Achilles, and I do not see how this beautiful bond could be successfully portrayed in a film.

A book can really give a lot to the reader. Although some books are more successful than others at evoking emotions and sucking people in, finding the right ones that do that for you is worth it, and reading them is truly an experience like no other.

Allison Yusim

Wisconsin '26

Hi! I'm Allison! I am a Freshman at the University of Wisconsin Madison majoring in Mathematics! In my free time, I enjoy hanging out with friends, reading, and exploring Madison. I am so excited to be a part of Her Campus!