August 14, 2012

Books-Escapism and Connections

I was listening to the podcast of This American Life a few weeks ago and heard a story that struck a chord with me. 

At the end of the year I was weeding books from my library collection and decided to week a bunch of Piers Anthony and Robert Jordan books, along with a few other fantasy authors/series we had.  I had set my parameters for books that hadn't circulated for over three years.  I think this is a pretty good indication, plus most of these books seem like they are for above middle grade level.

But then I listened to a story on This American Life about two young people's love for Piers Anthony books when they were growing up.  And their adoration for Piers Anthony.  To the point where one of them ran away from home to Piers house in Florida.  You see, they so connected with these books and this author they felt certain that he was the only person who understood them. 

Then I had to ask myself if I was denying a child the chance to find this level of connection with a story and author.  I don't think so because they have plenty of other chances to discover these books--our high schools and public library has them in their collection.

And then I had to think if I have ever felt that way about a book or an author.  I mean, I LOVED Ramona Quimby, but never felt like I was her or that Beverly Cleary was the only person that understood me.  I LOVED Nancy Drew, but mostly just wanted to be her.  Since I read those in second grade I knew I couldn't ever be her so it was mostly just fantasy.  I had a very wonderful upbringing so although I connected with characters I never felt I needed to escape my life.  I just loved reading.

What about you--have you ever felt that level of connection with an author, character or book series?  Please share!

2 comments:

  1. What a good question...
    I did adoooooooore The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
    I loved the idea of grand adventures and then getting to come back home and still be me.
    Till this day (I'm 36) I still secretly check the back of giant wardrobes.
    You know, just in case... ;)

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    1. I saw the cutest idea--someone put a wardrobe in front of a child's playroom and cut out the back so that when they opened that wardrobe it opened into a playroom! It was darling!

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