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The Magic of Reading Fiction

Updated on July 30, 2014

Live in Wonderland Through Books

And there it stood before me. The arching hallways of mahogany wood, echoing with every familiar step, led me closer and closer to enchantment until I could bear no more and had to have a peek. I opened the book, smelling the musty smell of generations past and generations yet to come. Like faerie fruit, I was devouring and time ceased to exist...


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It seems like in today's day and age priceless experiences like these are becoming ancient history. I wonder how long from now will a child ask "what's a book mommy"? only to have in reply "It's an artifact of long ago times". In schools, teachers are hassling students to read more, encouraging them to read for at least 20 minutes a day. This quarrel usually ends with the much heard sayings: I hate reading or reading is boring, why read a book when you can go watch the movie instead? Many teens degrade reading with the wrong assumption that books are just for logical facts like textbooks or boring books assigned by the teacher in English class. They are dead wrong for believing this but it's not entirely their fault. It's partly the fault of adults as well. Reading has been introduced the wrong way. With all the analytical reasoning and testing, teachers barely if not at all include young adult fiction or other books that may interest teenagers. While it is important to understand non-fiction and grammar to for example if in the future one decided to become an editor or a technical writer. And it's extremely great to know these things in your day to day life. But too much of everything makes us sick. Well in most cases it does.

When you dive inside a great work of fiction many people get into a flow state. This is a peak in your consciousness when your performance is at it's best and time either slows down dramatically or speeds up dramatically. In other words you lose track of time. It has been proven by David Comer Kidd also by Emanuele Castano who are psychologists, that getting immersed in fiction gives you a greater ability to perceive and understand emotions in other people. Raymond Marr and Keith Oatley proved that fiction enhances empathy among readers. These are both life skills.

Forgetting all the scientific studies, just read for pleasure. Read because all the water of the world cannot quench your thirst for them. Read to know you are not alone. Read to let your imagination run wild. Read for freedom. The most profound, sincere and touching emotions run in the veins of paper with the delicate scribbles on it which we call writing. Books are alive. They are your friends. They teach you morals which reality overlooks. I have learned many things through the fictional universe. Books which I came across by accident have had the most impact. This goes to show books are mysterious magical creatures. As Cassandra Clare Author of The Infernal Devices and The Mortal Instruments said: "One must always be careful of books and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us". The Divergent series by Veronica Roth taught me that there is always a tinge of hope to hold on to and humanity is all one, we are all equal but different, factions don't define us. Status is merely a name. And it also tells a very important thing, a warning you can call it. "Do remember though, sometimes the people you oppress become mightier than you would like." The Fault in Our Stars by John Green teaches us that true love can surpass death. Love is infinite. Even fairy tales have important morals to teach us. Fiction takes us to a parallel universe very different or not so different from our own. A colourful vivid stream of events shift into pictures in your head, and somehow the words on the page gently disappear and a movie in full detail takes place in your head, and you see everything. After a few more minutes you are swept away like you are in the story like you are the characters and you are feeling and doing what they are doing. You have no knowledge of this world, you just know that you are the person in the book experiencing all these events. You forget that you are even reading until suddenly your hand drops the book and you blink and look around to discover it's no longer afternoon it's dinner time. You felt what the characters felt as if they were real. It's like (or maybe it actually is) you're under a simulation. This is my experiences and many other book lover's too when we read. It's intense. People that love books are often placed into the unfair stereotype that we are nerds who are smart at everything and don't have a life. This is not true we don't sit with a book all day everyday of the year. We simply like this experience that we get. There are endless reasons why fiction is pure magic. The magic runs in our blood and affects us wholly. The smell of books is nostalgic and comforting. Creativity is slowly diminishing in the world. Sometimes things just don't have explanations and sometimes formulas don't work. And yes, sometimes things can't be fixed with logic reasoning. Authors, visual artists, musicians, and the creative types should be and must be respected. They are no better than others, but deserve the same respect as doctors and lawyers get. Without them works of art like fiction would not exist. Reading fictional books is stepping into wonderland.


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I opened my glassy eyes and turned to face the setting sun. It burned so sweet and bright. The professor was sitting at the desk drinking steaming tea. The fire which was burning so high and majestic dimmed out, a single spark still alight, and the oil lamps now on, encircling the old place. I slid past wooden doors which were heavy but not worn out with time. As I glanced behind me, the kind wise eyes of the old man bid me farewell. Until tomorrow. I let the stars guide me back home and the rushing wind push me along the way, my bare feet on the damp grass.












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