Reading: The Images in your Head | INFJ Forum

Reading: The Images in your Head


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Retired Staff
Nov 12, 2008
1w2 sx/so/sp
I remember this being mentioned in elementry school. Most people who read stories, end up getting images in their heads as they read. They see the house described, the character, they move with the text, their actions fall into place. It is like a whole new world appears before you and you get so lost in this you don't even realise you are reading anymore. Of course, I am describing how it is for myself, but I am willing to bet this is the case for almost everyone here. An interesting note, apparently for those who don't like to read, or have a hard time remembering what they read, do not have this happen for them. It's really sad, because this is what I value so much about reading stories.

What's really interesting to me, is how these images form. How does my brain produce what I see in my head. It extracts all these unseen details that the story doesn't even mention at all. You simply extrapolate it, and it makes sense. These images also remain for ever. You might not be able to recall them at will if it has been many years since you have read a book. Yet, if you think of a story, the first thing that I imagine, was what I saw in my head as I read. Where they caracters were at what scenes, what they said, how they move. All the details. It's why reading is so personal to me when I actually get into it (and I certainly don't read enough). It's why reading is so personal to so many people. You get a movie in your mind from it, and since you and you alone see it, it remains special, signifgant, nostalgic.

So, what is reading like for you? Why do we get such images and "movies" when we read. Why do they form as they do, with so much detail, so many assumptions, and it all makes absolute implied sense.

I'm actually really jealous that you're able to visualize things in your mind. I have the hardest time doing so, and it's become increasingly difficult in the past few years. When I read, I recreate the story, but I don't get any real mental visuals. I see the physical words, and stay relatively attached to the book. I get easily distracted, and I'd wager it's because I stay so in touch with "reality" and not in my mind. However, I still somehow find reading an enjoyable experience.
hmm. INFJ's have a wild and rich imagination in general. We are in our head most of the time and we picture anything that we feel, and sometimes play out possible scenrios to the situation at hand. Perhaps, it's also becaue of our empathatic nature that we can imagine the characters and relate to them as well as be able to understand their feelings and forsee their personal developement.

I experience the same thing when I read. It's like I am creating the movie for the book I am reading. I can picture the character's the scenes, the facial expressions for each emotion, etc. Sometimes, I even end up dreaming of what I read/imagined.
I reckon it has something to do with predisposition towards daydreaming and imagination in general. A good story can really pull me in and make me feel like I am there, feeding all of my senses. A bad one gives me less dimensions to work with and makes it tougher but if I work hard enough I can still imagine it in my head.

Course I have difficulty dragging myself into reality at times, knocking around in my own stories in my head. Good food for thought though Indi.
This is one of the reasons I hate going to see movies based on books. The images in my head of what I read are always much better than what they show on the screens.
Your description is exactly what I experience. That's why I'm usually so disappointed with movies that are made from books. Unless they recreate some things from the book that's similar to how it is in my head, in which case I'll probably really enjoy it.