Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Fantasy Between the Covers
No, no people—not those kind of fantasies! Snap out of it. I’m talking about reading. Here are my thoughts:
Could it be that every human being requires time lost in fantasy? Some of the greatest psychological minds in history say “yes.” Sigmund Freud stated that men and women “cannot subsist on the scanty satisfaction which they can extort from reality.” So let’s assume people must fantasize in order to fully enjoy life, for it is through fantasy that immediate gratification occurs, if only for a few fleeting moments or the duration of a good novel.
Following this train of thought, I believe I can hypothesize that the avid reader has discovered the ability to tap into the imaginary world of others by simply picking up a book and becoming lost in the persona of the hero or heroine and the world in which they live. In this way, he can supplement his own fantasies by attainment of lofty goals through the eyes of another. Is it any wonder, then, that reading is as popular as it is?
However, many say younger people are swayed into not reading as much because they now have the ability to escape into an alternate world via the Internet or through gaming, visual and less taxing methods for escapism with even more immediate gratification than reading a book. Perhaps, but these methods are visual and thus preconceived. There is “little left to the imagination.” And isn’t our ability to imagine what we really crave?
So, how does one make reading a book more enticing to the young than playing the newest video game? By creating a world populated with characters who can only be appreciated to their fullest through the imagination of the reader, as he interacts with them at his own rate and as he pleases in his mind while turning the pages of the book.
Through books, we’ve done wondrous things: traveled through time, gone around the world in eighty days, spent time on deserted islands, had numerous satisfying love affairs, traveled to other worlds and battled mighty demons, always emerging victorious. All worlds are possible between the covers.
Bobbye Terry aka Daryn Cross