Wednesday, 13 June 2012

44: Why Readers Love Reading

Boy meets girl, boy kisses girl, boy stops kissing girl, girl kisses different boy, boy hits different boy, different boy hits boy back harder, girl ditches hard-hitting different boy, boy kisses girl again, boy and girl live happily ever after.

What is it that we readers love so much in books, magazines and books?  Are we just passing time or does the written word mean more to us than that?

Excitement?  As Lucy Burkhampton thwarts the scheming of evil Lord Diehardt, saves the Montcliffe diamond, escapes from the foaming Yaw of Wojik and rescues her family’s honour, we feel the thrill of the chase and the danger of so many narrow misses.

A puzzle solved?  If you swear at your boss, upset your students, hit old ladies and set your curtains on fire, just what will happen?  How does a single event weave in and out of the lives of a group of people who have never met before and may never meet again?  Let’s find out.

Happiness?  A father accompanies his only daughter down the aisle after learning to walk again, when an accident at work leaves him using a wheelchair.  A musician becomes an overnight sensation, after playing clubs and bars in dingy towns for twenty years.

Romance?  How a man and woman met, and met again several years later as single parents, slowly falling in love and years later telling the tale to their small son.  The elderly couple who love and look after each other as much after fifty years together as they did on the day they married.

Hope?  After years of trying for a family, on the verge of giving up, a couple see a blue line develop after sixty seconds.  A young man spends all of his childhood moving between distant family members, wondering who his real parents are, finds a box buried in the garden and the contents promise to lead him to the answer.

Stories let us experience things we never could, do things we never will and be people we can never become.  They bring us together, move us through time and even when they don't end well, the stories continue happily ever after.

Inspired by ‘Why readers love their moustaches’

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