Answer by Raakhee V. Menon:
Thank you for the A2A.
I believe that this is different from individual to individual. For me, it’s highly essential that I visualize what I read. That’s the way my mind works. And that’s the ONLY way I can fully grasp anything I read. Even my school and college subjects were handled the same way. For this very reason, I had trouble with Math as there was little one could ‘visualize’ with integration and matrices and polynomial equations
When I read, I create entire worlds in my mind. I give faces to people, I give them attires, voices, mannerisms…it is an enchanting experience. Even if the book isn’t very descriptive of the characters’ external appearances, I make them up nevertheless. And if the author does me a favor and goes on to make elaborate descriptions of people and their attires and physical attributes, like say J.K.Rowling or J.R.R.Tolkien, it becomes a joyride no less! They indirectly help me create my imaginary world.
When a book is about to be made into a movie, I typically read it after the final casting has been done and/or the movie trailer/teaser has been released. That way, I have faces for all my characters. It’s like an enormously long movie playing out in my head. I read the dialogues in their voices and I can’t tell you how much fun it is. I’ve watched all movies of ‘The Hobbit’ and the LOTR series. I’m currently reading Book 1 of LOTR and I just can’t seem to put it down 😀
But that’s just me. I have an over-imaginative mind and this is one of the best ways to harness it and prevent it from wandering while I read. There might be others who are not comfortable with that. Some people tend to get distracted from the reading and put in a lot of effort when they try to visualize something. They are unable to do it together. So the person who’s reading should be able to arrive at what works best for them, IMHO.