What Is Your Perspective While Reading?

reading-perspective

When reading books, there are usually 2 kinds of point of views: first person and third person. In case you never noticed, let me explain it to you. First person is when we get into the characters head, and it’s usually using the word “I” instead of the name of the characters. Third person, while we can also feel what they feel and know what they are thinking, use the characters name. It’s like we are more of a viewer of the story, but with knowledge of what’s going on with everyone at the same time (kinda useful in real life eh?). If you aren’t clear about it yet, here’s an example:

“Then what do you want form me?”

“I want to lie beside you and know the weight of your dreams,” he said, brushing his lips against my knuckles. “I want to share whole worlds with you and write your name in the stars.” He moved closer and a chorus of songbirds twittered silver melodies.

“I want to measure eternity with your laughter.”

Now, he stood inches from me; his rough hands encircled my waist. “Be my queen and I promise you a life where you will never be bored. I promise you more power than a hundred kings. And I promise you that we will always be equals.”

and

“What are you doing to me, you plague of a girl?” he whispered.

“If I’m a plague, then you should keep your distance, unless you plan on being destroyed.” The weapons still in her grasp, she shoved against his chest.

“No.” His hands dropped to her waist. “Destroy me.”

(If you can guess which book they are from, comment down below!😜) Both quotes have the same vibes, a lover who’s hesitating and the other half who’s trying to convince the other. But while both felt really deep, we connect deeper on personal level because we are INSIDE the girl’s head, while in the second quote, we are WATCHING the couple.

giphy

Now now, no worries, I’m not going to talk about characters point of view, which one you liked better etc etc. It only serves as background or introduction, and a long one at that😅 What I’m going to talk about today is what is your perspective when you are reading?

No matter what povs im reading, I always become a watcher. I stand in the sidelines and watch the events unfold. Even when it is a first person point of view, I can connect deeper emotionally and physically, but I still can’t put myself as the characters, being in their head and heart. For some reason, you can say that I am a third person point of view, always being invisible and being an all-knowing entity in the stories.

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While it can get frustrating sometimes because I can’t always connect with the characters, being a watcher the whole time, it also has the good sides. I usually feel more immersed in the world building of the book. Like for example, Daughter of Smoke and Bone is set in Prague. When all hell broke loose, the angels appearing on the bridge etc etc, I can imagine myself there. I can imagine myself watching the angels and people around the bridge, while walking through those cobbledstone paths and touching the ancient buildings.

Pretty awesome huh? Well it also gives me a serious case of wanderlust sooo….

I can’t say which one is better, being in a character’s head or being a watcher. I guess both have advantages and disadvantages, and I think it varies for each reader! I think being a watcher works fine for me this whole time, it saved me a sensible amount of tears because I rarely cried while reading!😂

Your turn: Are you a watcher or the character? Which one do you think is better?

On Growing Up and Letting Go

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52 thoughts on “What Is Your Perspective While Reading?

  1. Rachel says:

    When I read, I am definitely “watching.” I’ve said that while I’m reading, it feels like I’m watching a movie in my mind.

    I don’t think I’ve ever read a book and imagined that I am seeing the story through the eyes of the characters, even if it’s in first person.

    No matter how it’s narrated, I feel like I’m standing in the room with them, watching it unfold.

    This is interesting. I had never really thought about if people read differently or “saw” their books differently than I do.

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  2. Kelly in Hali says:

    I am definitely a watcher – I don’t think I’ve ever read something that made me feel like I was the character in the novel.

    I loved your description of watching the angels descend on Prague in Daughter of Smoke and Bone – that’s exactly how I feel during so many of my reads…slightly removed, but able to see everything unfold around the characters in epic 3D!

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  3. Cait @ Paper Fury says:

    This is such an interesting discussion!! I LOVE IT. And I admit I’m quite often the watcher too. It takes a really special book to make it feel like me. And I can feel like I’m in the book if it’s 1st/3rd…it just depends on how much I relate really.😂 But I like books that suck you in so much that you don’t feel like you’re reading, just like experiencing it like a movie or something. THAT’S THE BEST.

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    • tasya @ the literary huntress says:

      Yess! It takes a really good book for me to actually can imagine myself in the character’s shoes. Ooh yeah, the ones that are like watching the movie is also amazing! It’s like you can picture all the details of characters, places, and even the soundtrack for the scenes! 😀

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  4. Bec (@booktineus) says:

    This is such an interesting post! Like you, I take on the perspective of the watcher. The story always plays out as a movie in my mind, and I’m always the audience looking onto the screen. Even when the story is first person, I’m a watcher having the character tell the story to me. I can’t think of any time I’ve imagined stuff like I was the character

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  5. Aditi says:

    This is SUCH a great idea for a post! I’ve never thought of whether I’m the character or the watcher before – but now I realize I’m definitely the watcher! It does make it harder to connect with characters, but when I do connect with them, I WILL REMEMBER THEM FOREVER (they’re pretty much my new best friends!)

    Great Post Tasya!

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  6. Michelle @ FaerieFits says:

    I’m definitely a watcher, though I’ve never really thought about it. The irony is that when I was younger and a competitive athlete, they trained me to do visualization techniques as a participant, not an observer. So it’s interesting to me that I’ve set all that aside and still behave as an observer 😛

    This is great to think about! I’ll have to pay attention to whether the narrative’s POV impacts my own positioning in the story 🙂

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  7. Laura says:

    I’ve never really thought much about it, but I think I’m generally a watcher? I’m going to have to try and notice next time I read, because I’m intrigued now!
    Great post! 🙂

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  8. Summer @ Xingsings says:

    I would also say that I’m the watcher type of reader as well. I prefer third person perspectives because there’s just an added depth to the world building and storytelling that way. And the second quote is from The Wrath and the Dawn, and I want to say the first is from either The Forbidden Wish or maybe The Star-Touched Queen? (I haven’t read either of the latter two so… it’s just a guess, haha.) 😛

    Summer

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    • tasya @ the literary huntress says:

      Yess! Third person allows more to be explored in the world building, while first person kinda only sees what the character sees! You’re correct, the second one is from TWATD and the first is from TSTQ ✨ But I should’ve put The Forbidden Wish in too, they all have the same vibe, especially TFW and TWATD since they are both retellings of 1001 nights.

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  9. Cassidy @ Quartzfeather says:

    THE WRATH AND THE DAWN!!! (I am too proud of myself for recognizing that one…) I’m definitely more of a watcher, I’ve never really been able to get into a character’s head. I honestly don’t really care which POV a book’s written in, half the time I don’t even notice. Though, I do hate 2nd person with an unrivaled vengeance…

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  10. Marie says:

    This was such an interesting topic to talk about! I’ve actually never given this a thought until now, but I think I’m just like you, a watcher 🙂

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  11. Reg @ She Latitude says:

    Such an interesting topic, Tasya! I’m totally the watcher, haha. I almost never put myself in the character’s shoes, and even when I relate to them on a personal level I always feel more like an observer. Actually I’m just generally uncomfortable with slotting into their lives, even if they are fictional… so definitely, definitely a watcher. I don’t mind first person perspective, though!

    Also. TSTQ and TWATD! The quotes totally have those vibes. 😂

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  12. yaykisspurr says:

    Love how you posed this question… I’m definitely the watcher type. I can accept a character’s choices and think them stupid or spot on – it doesn’t matter to me if the character is true to them self. I also like writing that is 3rd person as it is more of a showing POV rather than a telling one. I get sick of a character telling me how they think it is – show me, take me with you, help me experience it! Cheers!

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  13. Melissa @ BookNerdMomo says:

    This is a very interesting discussion. I don’t think I’ve ever thought about it before but now that I have I’m definitely the character. When I’m reading I usually become so immersed in the characters and end up putting myself in the main characters shoes to the point that I get really invested in whatever is happening to them throughout the story. I’m starting to wonder if that’s why when I can’t connect with the characters or don’t like them that I sometimes don’t enjoy the book. I usually enjoy first person the most because of all of that though but I’m not opposed to third person, some of my favorites are in third person. Great discussion!! 😊

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  14. Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight says:

    Oh I recently had a similar discussion! Here’s the link to mine: http://blog.kristenburns.com/does-pov-change-the-way-you-see-the-story-in-your-head/

    I’m also am pretty much always a watcher, I think. Even when a book is written in 1st person, I don’t feel like I AM the character, seeing through their eyes, etc. But even with 3rd person, even being a watcher, I still feel the emotions of the characters and feel close to them if the book is written well!

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  15. angelicam2009 says:

    This is such an interesting topic! I’ve never really thought about it before, but now that I am it’s kind of difficult for me to chose just one. I think I’m a bit of both, but I also think it depends on the book and how connected I feel to the characters and the story.

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  16. Yulia @ My Unprofessional Blog says:

    Really interesting post. I like the third person’s point of you kinda a little bit more because I want to know and “”see” the surroundings. And when it’s from a first person you are understanding some things better but if this character is not my type then I’ll go out of my mind and maybe even won’t finish the book because of it. Sometimes it’s better to be a first person and sometimes – not it depends. But I prefer to be a watcher and pretend I’m a part of the story then to put myself in someone’s place that is good to do sometimes tho. 🙂

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  17. Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight says:

    Oooh this is such a great topic! I love it! I had never thought about this before, so I really had to go back and try to analyze my reading. But I am definitely like you, a watcher. I kind of wish I could be the kind of person who feels like they ARE the character, but alas, I can only be a third person in books I read! Great post!

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  18. kris says:

    I LOVE this topic! Such a clever idea and something I’ve never considered prior to reading your post. I am kind of a bleeding heart, and I tend to REALLY empathize with the main character/person whose head I am inside. MOST of the time I just can’t help but put myself in their shoes. On the other hand, if I can’t connect with the characters, I am a watcher. So I would say I’m a bit of a mix leaning heavily toward 1st person. I like being able to see the character’s thinking process – it helps me understand them better!

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  19. Anushka H. says:

    I’m a watcher too! I usually find it difficult to imagine the scenes as if I’m IN them – I’m usually the one who’s watching the events unfold and secretly enjoying everything that goes down. I also know of some people who imagine the characters to look like people they know in real life – that is again something I’ve never done, but I’ve heard that some people enjoy doing that 😛

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  20. Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity says:

    I think I am a mix of both! I mean, I am never really the character because the way they think and act and respond to things will always be different to me, but sometimes I feel WAY too much when I’m reading a book just to be a watcher! But sometimes I can read a book and it just plays out like a movie in my head, which is awesome, as well.

    I am pretty sure POV has something to do with this because being a watcher is mainly how third person POV makes you feel from the get go, whereas first person POV is like you’re sitting inside their head. But I suppose you could just be watching from inside their head, as well XD

    I will try and remember which books I read as a watcher and which books I read on a more personal level from now on!

    Liked by 1 person

    • tasya @ the literary huntress says:

      Yeah, sometimes I feel too much too when I read, but I still somehow stand on the sidelines. I guess I just emphatize with the characters?😅 I hope you won’t get distracted to find out what you are that you didn’t enjoy the book you’re reading 😄 it’s fun to analyze ourselves though😄

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  21. Brookie Cowles says:

    I am definitely a 3rd person bystander. And unless the book is really well described, I usually see it as it happens but no one really has a face. It’s like a blurred image. It always bothers me that I don’t have a face for the characters.
    Even in 1st person, I’m still a bystander watching it happen.

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  22. Julia says:

    Great discussion! I have never thought of this before, I will have to notice what I do when I’m reading from now on 🙂 I suspect I’m also a watcher but I need to pay attention!

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