The other day in Barnes & Noble there was a big display of The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings, I was particularly interested in The Hobbit because over time it has become my favorite in the collection. I was excited to see the different illustrations in the many copies of the books they had on display, but was disappointed when I actually saw them. They didn’t measure up to what I had envisioned Middle Earth and its inhabitants to look like.
In a way it lost its grandeur; it no longer let me use my own imagination to create the characters faces, or peek into Bilbo’s hobbit hole, or even gaze into the corners of my mind at what the Misty Mountains & the goblin caves would look like. I now depend on what that illustrator thinks Gollum looks like, and cannot form my own opinion of the character Gollum, for that is now in the way.
On the matter of imagination and books, when you read a book for the first time, it is a new world that you get to see in your mind, and each time you re-read it you can add more detail to the picture in your mind, because maybe you notice something you didn’t last time you read it. Or maybe as you’ve grown and changed from the time you read it as a child, when you read it as an adult you are a different person in a way, so maybe you see the characters different or understand things better.
With this entire thing going on in my head, I was asking myself
“if I’m so sad to see illustrations in the book, do I still want to see the new movie in December?”
What books have you read and treasured that you would feel this way about?
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© Antonia June Simonik