You know how people all over Goodreads, the book blogging community, and anyone on the Internet who reads books for leisure always have their own perception on how a character–especially one who isn’t given an illustration by the author/publisher themselves–looks?
Well I’m not one of those people.
In fact, I don’t really think about the description given by the author too much. I simply take note of hair color or clothes and imagine them like this:
It’s usually when I’m finished reading when I go to the Internet and see fanarts or, in the case of Wattpad back when I was active there and Youtube, celebrities who are perfect for a hypothetical movie adaptation of the book. I would see how others imagined, say, Katniss Everdeen before we had Jennifer Lawrence and give silent commentaries like, “Oh that’s good” or “Nah, it’s too far from how I thought of Katniss”. But throughout reading the book, I imagine people with blurred faces interacting with each other.
So how, then, do I get the feel of the story if I’m only imagining blurred people? Well, I rely quite heavily on their personalities. Their very characteristics.
For instance, when I read Anna and the French Kiss for the first time, I imagined Etienne St. Clair to be this tiny, mischievous-looking guy with gorgeous hair. While reading The Knife of Never Letting Go, I imagine Todd to be this thin thirteen-year-old who are well onto puberty and Viola with a blunt bob. (And Manchee is this furry mutt that I’m not afraid of approaching*)
There are very few novels that are exceptions to this kind of imagining while reading. Because I watched the movie adaptation of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone first, I simply imagined young Dan, Rupert and Emma when I read the book.
What I have here is an example of what I would like to call a “reading quirk”. Something quirky that you do while reading. And it is, of course, simply a matter of choice and perspective and the individual doing the reading. That’s what I like most about reading books. We are given this freedom to do whatever we want with a group of bound papers or one readable file in the computer and project the story freely in our own mental movie theater.
* I had a traumatic experience with dogs as a kid
SO! How do you picture characters’ faces? Do you have some reading quirks of your own? Let’s discuss!