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Graphic novels vs. books: Which do you prefer?

Credit: Kidsday staff artist / Scott Kiley, Hempstead

There has been an endless debate among my friends about which one is better: graphic novels or traditional books. The reasons that someone might prefer one or the other are endless.

Kids who like graphic novels usually read it for the pictures. The images of characters and scenes are perfect for those who like seeing someone else’s interpretation of a character’s image or a scene. Graphic novels also are good for summarizing a long book. These types of books are also better for those with dyslexia. In general, graphic novels are a more casual read, but not for people who plan on reading and devoting themselves to a series. And for a book with multiple perspectives, the transitions can be a little frustrating and rather forced. Also, there are those who are might be appalled at the idea of leaving out so much information.

Those who prefer traditional books usually like it for the freedom of imagination. Being able to exactly picture something in one’s head and finding it is similar to what the author thought is very gratifying. It is also fun to imagine the different ways the scenes could play out due to lack of information. Everyone can perceive a simple emotion felt in words, but it is a lot harder to convey raw emotion in graphic novels. Traditional novels do have the problem of not being as portable and usually are heavier than a graphic novel.

One book that I have read in both graphic novel and traditional format is “The Red Pyramid.” In graphic format, it was illustrated well with a brilliant way of showing multiple perspectives. It was, as mentioned though, a tough transition between chapters. The traditional format was well detailed, and it was very easy to convert concepts to thought. I enjoyed the book much more than the graphic novel.

I think traditional books are for people who relish in every detail and imagine every possibility of a story and use their well-practiced imagination to picture scenes.

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