Thursday, July 5, 2012

the trouble with books

I've just come to the sudden & alarming realization that there's a down-side to books. As a life-long voracious reader descended from a double-line of appreciators of books, I've long been prejudiced towards books' benefits - the worlds they build for our imaginations to inhabit. The friends they introduce us to who mirror back our follies and our feats. The lessons they reveal from history, science, mythology and philosophy.

But as I lay in bed the other night dreaming of a pill to make me smaller, I remembered dear Alice's curiosity and the resultant threat of beheading.

Books never tell us how happily ever after really looks. That Prince Charming leaves the toothpaste tube uncapped. That Snow White's hair turned grey, and that Beauty sometimes got that 'not so fresh feeling.'

And, books give us things that maybe we shouldn't really have. Big ideas. Imaginations. Dreams. So what if Anne had both a bosom friend and, eventually, Gilbert Blythe - LMM had no right to make us think we should want or could have the same, really. Oliver Twist was really the heir to a fortune, once he got that whole orphan thing sorted. ... and ... well ... 

Bah - never mind. I can't actually sustain even for the sake of argument a conversation that books do anything other than enlighten and entertain and inspire me. But. Still. It'd be really nice if we could take a pill to make us smaller without having to get our heads chopped off. 


  1. ---Books & Words have saved my life!


    Hope you are well <3

    1. Ditto ... so I was pretty surprised when this thought occurred to me. I'd only felt similarly when I was single & embittered by romcoms. ;-)

      Well and happy and hoping the same for you!

  2. I love your reflections on this, I think sometimes we need the utopia, it's a balm for the soul. :)

    1. The pure joy of escape is a wonderful and valuable gift.


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