I graduated out of high school an idiot. I hadn’t read anything, seen anything or heard anything (Everybody anyone?). Now that I’m becoming moderately literate in such things, I think I can make a generalization — the information content (sorry Dr. Shannon, I’m going to abuse that term here) of an art form is inversely proportional to the effect it has on me.
Contrast a book with a movie, for instance. The information a book contains is certainly more abstract than the information a movie rams into my head. I don’t know how Naoko in Norwegian Wood looked like but Martha always conjures up the image of Helena Bontham Carter in a hat, smoking a freshly lit cigarette. Naoko‘s image is malleable and ethereal but Martha will always be a dark girl with curly hair (this is not to criticize Fight Club, I loved the movie).
I think this makes books more relatable, and a well written text hits me at a very base level. Since the written word is so flexible and abstract, my mind can lift it up to a concrete representation that is very close to my sense of self. A book can drive me to insanity, a movie cannot.
I think the same applies to music too — I’ve always found solos by Pink Floyd their most interesting work. When a rapper talks about how he scored last night, there is only so much information my mind can add, there is only so much I can misinterpret. When I hear the crazy slide-guitar in Shine on you crazy diamond, VI-IX, my mind is forced to conjure up something using the only tools it has at its disposal, my imagination and my experience. And it always comes up with something sinister.