Friday, June 03, 2016

Why I Read Fantasy

“I am a reader not because I don’t have a life but because I chose to have many.” (unknown) People love to read what speaks to them. This can be nonfiction, fiction or any other of a variety of media. They can be interested in a specific genre. I have been a reader all my life. I read plenty of different things, but the genre that resonates with me the strongest is fantasy.

My reading journey began as a child. My mother would read stories to me and I wanted to learn to read badly. Unlike other children who slept with stuffed animals I slept with books under my pillow. (LOL) Reading was important for me because I wanted to learn about animals, which I loved with obsession. I went through my horse phase reading any book about horses and stories about them. Later on I discovered science fiction while growing up with TV shows like “Star Trek” and “Lost in Space”. I devoured sf books for many years. Then in college, I discovered Lord of the Rings, fell in love and have read in the genre ever since.

I love the many subgenres available in in fantasy. Epic fantasy impresses me with  grand stories of battles to save a world. Arthurian fantasy has many different versions of telling a story that continues to resonate in today’s world. Mythic fantasy provides epiphanies and experience of the numinous aspects of life. Urban fantasy brings magic into the real world for some great, memorable stories of how life would be different for us.

It is hard to put into words why I enjoy fantasy so much. I’ve always had a vivid imagination and a strong sense of wonder. Suspending my disbelief for a book or story comes easy for me. As long as there are memorable characters, a gripping plot and wonder, I’m in tor the length of the story. Fantasy fills my emotional understanding of what it means to be human and the concept of the human heart. Other worlds with different cultures are fascinating. Some people say that fantasy is read to escape from reality, but I think that is a good thing because fantasy helps us see the world from different perspectives. To me, the real world could use a little more wonder. Bottom line for me is to experience awe.

Reading is important in my life. I’ve learned a lot from fantasy like tolerance and empathy for those who are different. It is hard to try to experience everything the world has to offer, but reading provides this:    “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies,” said Jojen. “The man who never reads lives only one.” (A Dance with Dragons pg. 452 )That is why I read fantasy.

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