Friday, September 14, 2012

What Reading Fiction Means to Me (Warren Adler contest entry)

Reading fiction isn’t a hobby for me. It’s not something that I do in my spare time to break away from boredom or escape from the bombardment of horrifying new reports, reality television ‘celebrities’ or the everyday doldrums of the 9-5.
Ok, it is, but it’s also much more.
Fiction is my savior, my champion, the key that opens the door and allows me to try on the flesh suits of hundreds of thousands of individuals that I would never have encountered in the ‘real’ world. Through fiction I have traveled to distant lands, fought dark lords and horrifying monsters, loved and lost, died and lived. Through fiction I’ve married, divorced, been unfaithful, remained loyal to death. I’ve murdered the innocent, saved countless lives, and watched the sun rise and set over ages of time. Through fiction I’ve traveled to places like Middle-Earth, Prydian, Narnia, Westeros, and returned to wander the Earth across time in ancient Rome and Greece, feudal China and Japan, colonial Britain and the United States. I’ve watched kingdoms rise and tumble, seen the flash of mushroom clouds and napalm fields, tallied the dead after seasons of war. I’ve witnessed tragedy and triumph, love and hate, life and death and survived by simply coming the end of the story.
I cannot imagine being able to function without fiction to turn to and enjoy those intimate moments with those hundreds of thousands of moments and people that have allowed me to live through and with them across the pages. Could I? Sure. But would I want to?
Not hardly.

*This is an entry in the Warren Adler contest. See his website for details.*

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