You, Reader


You, Reader

Billy Collins

I wonder how you are going to feel
when you find out
that I wrote this instead of you,


that it was I who got up early
to sit in the kitchen
and mention with a pen


the rain-soaked windows,
the ivy wall paper,
and the goldfish circling in its bowl.


Go ahead and turn aside,
bite your lip and tear out the page,
but, listen–it was just a matter of time


before one of us happened
to notice the unlit candles
and the clock humming on the wall.


Plus, nothing happened that morning–
a song on the radio,
a car whistling along the road outside–


and I was only thinking
about the shakers of salt and pepper
that were standing side by side on a place mat.


I wondered if they had become friends
after all these years
or if they were still strangers to one another


like you and I
who manage to be known and unknown
to each other at the same time–


me at this table with a bowl of pears,
you leaning in a doorway somewhere
near some blue hydrangeas, reading this.


Movie or Book First? Does the Order Matter?



There are dozens of questions I could ask in the much discussed debate of movie verses book. The one question I always go back to is, which is more influential? By that I mean does reading the book first make you want to see the movie version more, or does seeing the film make you want to read the book more?


I usually stand behind my always read the book first rule, but broke that rule and watched (technically rewatched) the Jurassic Park movies before seeing Jurassic World. While the movies brought up feelings of nostalgia, I wasn’t overwhelmed with a need to read Michael Crichton’s novels. That isn’t to say I wouldn’t read Jurassic Park one day, just that the movie didn’t make me want to read it.


On the other hand, when I hear a book I’ve read is going to be turned into a movie, after the initial period of disgust wears off; I’m genuinely excited to see that movie. I’m driven to know if I’m going to end up loving or hating the film adaptation and I get fearful for my favorite minor characters. I’m instantly invested in how the movie will represent the book.


So, for me reading a book first means that I will end up seeing a film version of that book, but seeing a movie version first does nothing to motivate me. Is it the same for you? Let me know in the comments below.