Friday, March 8, 2013

My Real Fictional Life

 Reading a good book, a good story that's well written transforms me from this real world into the more real, fictional world the book is set in. I was reading last night before my class, sitting in my car in a parking lot lit by harsh fluorescent lights. So transfixed was I that when I lifted my head, foggily, to do..what? I don't remember, but I looked up and out of my windshield, surprised that there was a world there that had nothing to do with the South Carolina I was reading about. Instead of a warm, humid summer day, I was startled to see a late-winter night, windows sprinkled with raindrops.

Being so engrossed in a book is good and bad. It's a wonderful escape. Too wonderful. And when I emerge, I am disoriented and confused, wondering where my friends are that I so recently left behind in black and white printed words on a page.

The real world, the one in which I am a three-dimensional character, seems flat and two dimensional and unreal in comparison.

Why is it easier to live inside of books than have a life outside of them? I want to be as three dimensional as the wonderful characters I befriend between the covers. I want to be as real and meaningful as they are. I want to matter.

“There is something wonderful about a book. We can pick it up. We can heft it. We can read it. We can set it down. We can think of what we have read. It does something for us. We can share great minds, great actions, and great undertakings in the pages of a book.” (Gordon B. Hinckley, Standing for Something: Ten Neglected Virtues that Will Heal Our Hearts and Homes.)

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