Wednesday, November 7, 2012

ESCAPING REALITY WITH A GOOD BOOK

I've had a lot on my mind lately that hasn't been writing related. The real world seems to have flexed its muscles and put me in a headlock and it hasn't been fun. Between job stress, deadlines, health scares with dear friends and associated other things, taking a little time for myself ends up at the bottom of the list.

It shouldn't. Not for any of us. Life's stressful enough—we can use a little escapism from reality. It's healthy for our psyche and our spirits. A fresh new book does that for me.

I can immerse myself in the life and times of people I don't know, places I've never been, or even a galaxy far, far away. Starting a new book is grand adventure for my mind. I get to know each character, care about their goals. I root for the good guys to overcome every obstacle the villain throws their way, urging them to pick themselves up and persevere.

I want the heroine to evolve and grow on her journey through the story. Same goes for the hero. If it's a mystery or suspense, let me follow all the clues as well as the red herrings thrown in the path of the lead characters. Let me see, feel, and taste the nightlife of the seedy bar the private investigator finds the femme fatale in. With urban fantasy—show me the underground city that's the playground for demons and vampires or the shapeshifter leading his pack.

Most importantly, let me feel what the people in the story feel. The curiosity, the wonder, the heartbreak and sorrow, but mostly let me share in the love. Let me have the resolution to the journey I've taken with my new friends be one of hope, understanding and happiness.

Real life often leaves us feeling drained, emotionally and physically. While I may not be able to hop on a plane or stroll onto that departing cruise ship, I can escape for a few hours in the pages of a book.

Do you use books as your coping mechanism, even for just a few hours? Are you reading anything now that's pulled you into the story and helped you escape between it's pages? Share with me, I'm always looking for the next leg on my journey of imagination.


12 comments:

Clare London said...

Lovely post Kathy, and it's so true! Reading can take me off into another world entirely, whether I want to escape or fall in (virtual) love or have a good laugh!

Kathy Ivan said...

That's one of the many things I love about books, Clare. When I'm writing, I create my own wonderful world, and when I'm reading, I'm plunged into the imagination of another author, taking me on a pleasurable excursion where I can laugh, cry, sigh and fall in love. The best part - - I get to choose the kind of story to best lift my spirits and make me feel better about everything!

Anne Marie Becker said...

I love reading for the same reason you listed - the escapism. Too much reality makes me cranky. LOL

Rita said...

Thoughtful post.
On facebook I asked why people read. To a person the answer was to be taken away to another place. I know it’s the reason I read is to escape someplace where there is justice and a HEA .

Marcelle Dubé said...

I read for all kinds of reasons, but mostly because I'm curious. Lately I've been immersed in mysteries set in modern-day Wyoming, the Longmire mysteries by Craig Johnson. It's a world completely different from mine and I'm fascinated by it. Good post, Kathy.

Liese said...

How true! Reading can take us away and to places we may never get to (no time or space travel for most of us yet!) And an emotional ride that can be very real! One thriller writer reported that a fan was reading one of his book while hooked to machines in the hospital. Her heart rate went up so much, they called in the crash cart!

VICKI BATMAN, said...

Hi, Kathy! I have two go-tos: needlepoint and reading. The rhythm of the stitching is quite soothing. And book do transport one to a new place, even while at the pharmacy today while waiting for drugs for the bee sting. :)

Kathleen Baldwin said...

Oh yes! I so agree with you... when I write I get to travel to another world. It is like an exciting vacation in my mind.

I love that!

Fun post, Kathy.

JB Lynn said...

Sometimes the most satisfying escape of a book is that the problems are actually resolved. In real life, it sometimes feels like that never happens.

Addison said...

What a wonderful post, Kathy! And I think you are so right - there are so many joys to be found in a good book that the opportunity to be transported for a few hours is often too big a temptation to resist!

Addison

Liz Lipperman said...

I love when when I can't stop thinking about characters from a book I'm reading, but that's also a double-edged sword for me. For that very same reason, I can't read while I'm creating as I need to be into my own characters.

This was a great post,Kathy, and so true. I remember thinking that Whitney Houston's songs all got so angry after she went through her divorce, and I had to stop listening to them.

Sylvia said...

When I was in a really bad bad marriage, I escaped everytime I got upset into a good book. But eventually, I just got a divorce. Now I just like to read. In fact my current and great husband and I try not to turn on the TV one night a week and just read.