The question of “is it the book, or is it you?” can also pertain to movies, and TV shows. So in all reality, the title should probably have been “is it the source, or is it you?” but I wanted to reel people in, and ‘source’ doesn’t really get the point across as well. BUT ANYWAY.
I’ve been thinking about this for a while, but I still haven’t really ascertained an answer. I think it depends on what book you’ve read or movie/TV show you watched, and what kind of love comes from it. Hang on, let me explain.
example #1: book
The Raven Cycle is one of my all time favourite series, discovered only at the beginning of this year. Now, while I REALLY enjoyed reading the books (the first and third were five stars, and the second was four stars, you can catch my reviews here), it was everything outside of the book that made it special. Talking about it with friends, making playlists, writing fanfic, reading friends’ fanfic.
My love for The Raven Cycle stopped essentially being just ABOUT TRC, but rather about all the things that came from it. Friendships, fun, conversations, analyses, fanfic. All of the stuff that is still centred on the books, but actually coming from me and what I put into my love for the books. Transforming it from just a: I love this series!!!!! feeling to: I am going to buy things with Ronan’s face on it, and write sexy AF fanfic, and make playlists, and scroll through every page of Maggie Stiefvater’s Tumblr just so I can compile all the songs she tagged with JUST Ronan and Adam.
So was it the book(s) that made this series so special, or was it what I took from them and made my own?
example #2: tv show
I barely have the words to describe what this show means to me, to be honest. My love for it knows no bounds. At all.
This is slightly different to TRC, though, because whereas my “outside” love for TRC began practically as soon as I read it, my “outside” love for Merlin didn’t start until the show had actually ended. I adored every minute of watching it, cried every tear in my body when it was finished, and loved it for itself without engaging this love in anything beyond the show.
I started to miss the show, and created a Tumblr account just to reblog Merlin related things, and made friends who love the show as much as I do. And then I started writing fanfic, and my friends read the fanfic, and I
forced persuaded them to then go and watch the show. (I also purchased a ridiculous amount of beautiful fanart.)
So I think in this case the boundary between ‘the source’ and ‘me’, was clearer. My intense love for the show required nothing but what it gave me. This love only grew once I started adding to this love myself.
example #3: movie
When this movie released on DVD I rented it from my local DVD rental store, and returned it before watching it. And then, about two years later, my best friend was talking about how much she loved it, and then we watched it. We had to pause the movie every five minutes for her to explain exactly what the hell the characters were actually saying, and I naively thought that Mr Wickham was a slighted poor soul (oh how I was wrong), but I loved every second of it.
From then on, it became one of our traditions. We’d watch it regularly and flail about Mr Darcy (especially the hand flex), and swoon along to the soundtrack. It was one of our most precious ~things~.
I think it’s pretty clear from the fact that I didn’t watch it when I had the chance that as beautiful and gorgeous as this movie is, it was the happiness and measure of closeness that it brought to my best friend and I that made it so special to me. Without that, I think it would have probably remained unwatched, or at best a movie I thought was lovely. It would never have become one of my favourite movies that I somehow manage to watch without much time passing at all. It was me, in this case. I am sure of it.
But there are other cases when I’m really not sure if it is the source or me that makes something special. Perhaps it is some magical mesh of the two of them. Because no matter how much outside love I bring to something, if the source didn’t exist, the love wouldn’t either. But I also think that outside love can make something infinitely more special, because it becomes more than just a book, or a TV show, or a movie. It becomes the thing that gives you inspiration, or happiness, or a beloved tradition.
Let me know your thoughts! Is it the source, or you? Or a mix between the two?