You’re Reading It Wrong

The funny thing about reading books with a two year old is that you have to read the books in the right way. I’ve discovered that there are a lot of factors that go into reading a book: special voices; speed; rhythm; loud parts and quiet parts; and of course pointing out things in the pictures. It’s a lot to handle! If my adorable nephew thinks you’re reading the book in the wrong way, he’ll take the book away from you and go to a different adult, to see if they read it right.

Every time he does it makes me laugh. At this age, different interpretations of a book aren’t allowed. There is only his way, and that’s the right way. No variations!

I can’t help but chuckle because when he does it I’m reminded of people my own age who get so upset at movie adaptations of books. How often do we hear that the movie “didn’t get it right”? I think we often forget that the movie can’t reproduce a book exactly. Instead, we are watching an interpretation of the book: a different version of the story. While it would be amazing to have an exact replica on the big screen of what we read on the page, we instead have to settle for an alternate version of the story, an interpretation of characters and events. They probably shouldn’t be compared to one another that closely (although naturally we do) because they are each a piece of art, the same story told in different mediums.

But of course we get attached to the way we first encounter a story. Something about that first format becomes special, becomes familiar inside and out, and we want to try to preserve that for as long as we can. All other versions will never live up to the one we have preserved in our minds.

At some point, we will have to accept that the movie will never be the same as the book. For now, I will have to accept that with my nephew, I just can’t read it right. :)

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