When I read, I ex-cogitate and dive deeper in the context presented by the writer. I immerse myself in the given context and paint a mental picture with the vivid colors of my imagination. My mind processes the information and actively constructs scenarios. I visualize them as they unwind in my mind. I am actively involved in the process in the given moment. I think in the moment as it would happen and then experience it within.
This is possible because the writer has faith in the reader’s imagination. The writer allows the reader the freedom to grasp, manipulate and absorb the content in their own way. There is no pre-constructed framework within which the content operates. The writing serves as an unrestricted open canvas for the reader to paint on. It is an act of active engagement.
When I watch, I don’t think. I merely consume. The presenter feeds me with the exact content that he wants me to consume. And as a viewer I do so without much cognitive effort on my part. The presenter constructs the framework within which the viewer is restricted. The leeway for constructive imagination is non existent. I don’t have to immerse myself to be able to understand and absorb the content. I don’t have to engage my mental faculties to the extent that I would have to if I were reading. It is a passive act.
Anyone who has read and watched a literature and the movie inspired by it will affirm to this fact. Be it Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged or Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code, the book out-classed the reel in every way you can think of. Watching merely makes us view, reading makes us visualize. Reading liberates our imaginations, watching captures it.