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Monday, May 12, 2014

Do Adult Novels Need Illustrations?

This year I saw more official "Free Comic Book Day" offerings than last year (and that's in addition to all the old comics our shop was giving away). Roughly half the titles were geared toward children, and one was aimed at helping parents and educators use comics and graphic novels to help children read.  We plan on reading them all, then handing off the children's titles to parents with kids. 

Reading comic books seems a good way to facilitate reading at all age levels. After all, children's books are crammed-full with illustrations. Yet, as we get older, pictures give way to words in our fiction books. Increasingly, many of us turn to magazines, TV, and the internet for information and stories. This seems a shame to me, as reading an extended story can prove a moving and transforming experience. 

You don't just read a novel, you inhabit it. You accompany the characters on their journeys, see the world through their eyes, and often emerge with a fuller understanding of the human experience. Rather than cutting into my overall reading time, rediscovering comics two years ago has spurred my interest in literature. I wonder: if publishers included more illustrations to help draw us into their authors' worlds, might we buy more novels?

What do you think?

Dragon Dave

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