Recently I have been playing games with my conversation classes to liven things up a bit and to get the conversation flowing. One of the games we have been playing is called “Would you rather”, in which you have to propose two different situations to the players and ask them which one they would rather experience. Simple enough, until you have to explain why you prefer one situation to the other and are forced to really think about your decision.
For me one of the most difficult decisions followed this question: “Would you rather never be able to listen to music again or never be able to read a book again?” I mean these are two cornerstones of culture and art, picking between them seemed impossible. A life without music or a life without reading, it is a difficult choice. But after a few moments thought everything became clear and without hesitation I said I would rather have a life without music than without books.
Why?! I hear you screaming, well I will tell you and maybe you will agree. For me a good book is like the door to another world, the beginning of an adventure that you may share with hundreds of other people reading the same book but it is unique to you and your own imagination. You can get lost with the characters, become invested in their journey and experience their emotional ups and downs along with them.
There have been times where I have stayed up all night to finish a book and I have ended up emotionally exhausted and drained once the experience was over. I mourn the deaths of characters in almost the same way I would friends in real life. I celebrate their achievements and successes with them as enthusiastically as I would my own.
I am not trying to say that music cannot elicit the same response but for me nothing can replace the journey that you begin when you pick up a new book for the first time and begin an adventure that will take you from the first page to the last, and sometimes even further.
Do you think music or books are more important in your life? Why?