actually, let me fix that: books. I'm not in spanish ever again, and would really like to block all those painful memories, which i guess includes any and all spanish words.
right, so. books. topic of the boring night. (at least, I'm bored....and chances are, if you're reading, you are too, and its probably night, but i can't be sure... IM me if I'm right, for fun, just because I'll probably still be bored. sugarboy234 on AIM.) not like, textbooks or historical autobiographies or anything like that. i'm talking about fictional prose meant to entertain. harry potter, lord of the rings, that kinda thing.
i don't know if you're a big book fan. it definitely takes a certain personality to read like i do. once i start a book that i like and havent read before, it consumes me. i spend as much time - on an obsessive scale - as i can reading, ignoring real life, i think about it when i cant be reading, i dream about it if i fall asleep. and I've been thinking about why i like those kinds of books so much, and why i feel like I'm coming off of a high when i finish. (i think i have a myspace post about this...I'm amending it)
when you are reading a book, it is probably in the first person or the third-person limited. we all know first person, but the third person limited is like harry potter, where rowling uses he, she, them, but you still know what harry is thinking and only what harry is thinking. you get insight into his mind and no one else's; he is basically telling the story. but not, because it is a narration instead of a first person account with the I's and the we's. anyway, the fact that most fictitious books have one of those points of view is essential to why i love them. you get to know your protagonist. you get to be inside the head of this fictional character to the point where he or she could be real. the character leaves the book; you can associate a person you know with the character usually, or create one in your mind, but regardless, you always know how they would react to a situation, sometimes better than you know yourself. you're best friends with the character, knowing them inside and out, how they feel about people, how they respond, what they love, hate, do for fun...everything. its so much easier than in real life. it takes no effort to know everything about this person, except the effort to lock yourself in your room "alone" to read. every time i read a book, i feel like I'm in the never ending story, right there with the characters, never alone while engrossed in the book. in real life, you cant just skip the boring parts, like that paragraph that includes "all of the rest of fall semester" or whatever, zooming off to the next important thing in the plot. you have to deal with those agonizingly boring weeks or months when nothing happens if your life is boring, when there is no character development to be done. because of the way the books are written, you're always learning something new about your character, your protagonist, your newest best friend. you never get bored of this person and wish the book could go on longer. in life, things never have that happy ending wrapped in a bow, they never have insightful information. you're always searching for something else, always left in the dark on the important things. you have to search for your own clues. my life in the book is much easier.
not only can you make friends, but you escape from reality. like i said before, you can have a boring life at times. books take you out of your boring life and plop you into a life of meaning and excitement. its almost like a virtual reality, where you can spend hours, and slowly whither away in this real world. personally, i forget to sleep and eat among other things. then you finish the book. suddenly, your time is up and the ride is over. you may be able to hold onto that other world for a little, but life soon begins to tear that from you as you fall back into routine, into normality. whenever i finish a really good book, I'm reminded how very insignificant i am, how i can never make a difference like that protagonist did, even if he was fictitious. I'll never be as charming or intuitive or perfect as some of those characters. i suppose that's the point, after all. who would want to read a book about the average life of some normal kid without any serious problems and no particular purpose? not as many people that want to read about freaking edward cullen, that's for sure.
fiction lets us live the life that we want. it lets us escape from the daily routine, the job we hate, the school work we do reluctantly. it takes us out of that average column and puts us into the extraordinary column, even if its just a glimpse. this is different from comedy. comedy distracts us from our problems. the dramatic fictional stories I'm talking about remove us from the problems, and place us in the life of someone else's, someone who generally overcomes the problems. we like to see that. we like to believe its possible. but as a mostly pointless movie stated, we are the rule, not the exception. we do nothing when we finish that will change us. we simply dream of the change, not implement it. we envision the dream, never actively seek it. and i am reminded of this every time i finish another exhilarating book. it isn't exactly depressing, just a somber reality check.
"It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that."