An escape from reality...

Blogged Bliss Sep 17, 2021

'Cause every night I lie in bed
The brightest colours fill my head
A million dreams are keeping me awake...

-The Greatest Showman-

Is it truly necessary to be asleep to dream? Have you never seen a dream unfold while your eyes were still wide open? Magnificent fire breathing dragons gliding across the sky, mermaids swimming while their tails glisten in the sunlight, witches and wizards dueling against dark lords or half-bloods battling the great Titans? And no, it’s not through the TV. Where is the fun in that? These dreams are much more potent, much more real. We hold these dreams so close to us that sometimes, even when we do close our eyes, we travel to these worlds where reality is long forgotten.

Books! dear reader, books! Especially those of fantasy, teleport us to a completely different universe where the unimaginable is imaginable and the impossible, possible. They teleport us to a world we do not wish to leave, which is often why we are oblivious to time if we are immersed in a particularly good read. Some books are so well written that regardless of a person’s ability to be imaginative, they will still be teleported to a different universe. These books provide an escape from our everyday routines and is often a source of peace and comfort for many (even if you are reading about a gruesome battle).

That’s the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet.

-Jhumpa Lahiri-

These books hold the power that regardless of how many times we read them, they would never fail to mesmerize us as if we were reading them for the first time. We already know how the story is going to end, we might even know our favourite parts word by word but still, we are as enthralled by the story like we were when we read them for the first time ever. We grow with the characters of the book. We fall in love with them. They cry, we cry. Their triumphs are our triumphs. We are so emotionally attached to them as if they were alive. We consider these characters to be our friends and family. Their lives, mingle with our lives. It has come to a point where reality and fantasy can no longer be differentiated.

A Song of Ice and Fire is the history lesson you wish you’d had in school. An immense, incredible work of epic fantasy written by a hugely talented author who has created an effortless, enchanting read that is rich, rewarding and completely enthralling.

-Floresiensis and Joshua S Hill-

People are so invested in making these dreams as much of a reality as possible, so as today, theme parks such as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios can be seen to have such a high demand. The success of such theme parks is not because of the movies, but rather because of the books. People spend more time reading than they do watching movies. In movies, we usually passively watch through the film-makers viewpoint, but through books, we build up our own mental image, our own dream which is much stronger than someone else’s.

Books are mirrors: You only see in them what you already have inside you.

-Carlos Ruiz Zafón-

Why is it that books hold such power over us? The power to capture our souls, to take us on an emotional roller coaster and transport us to a completely different universe? As years pass by, trends can be seen to come and go, yet, the love for reading today is as strong as it was a 100 years ago, if not stronger. It’s because, deep inside, we yearn for that sense of freedom, magic and love that is often found in our favourite novels. We are often confined and restricted by the ways of society that we yearn for that escape. And what better way to escape than through these novels. The options for escape through books are endless. One day you are fairy, the next a fire breathing dragon. Ask any girl (even the ones in relationships) and I assure you, no boy can match up to her fictional character crush. Such is the power of a beautifully written fantasy.
“Legends are lessons. They ring with truths”


Some people might be against such fantasies with the argument that such stories are not realistic, they are merely imaginary things similar to that of daydreaming and hence, is a mere waste of time. By far the biggest criticism of fantasy literature is that it is escapist and immature which might as well be the actual case. What if, based on these criticisms, fantasy no longer existed? Would people still love reading as much as they do? Think about the very first book you read. What genre was it? What was that one book you read that sparked your love for reading? What genre was that book? For a vast majority of us, our favourite books, the very first books we read and the books that changed our lives were none other than fantasy. Because fantasy lights a fire within our souls. It gives us hope to dream. We are often told to think outside the box. But what ignites that creativity? It is fantasy.
When it comes to Harry, part of me, a fairly large part, actually, can hardly bear to say goodbye.

-Stephen King-

Unfortunately, no matter how much of an escape book may be, eventually, they come to an end. When they do, we feel a sort of heartache, a sense of loss. Truman Capote says, “Finishing a book is just like you took a child out in the backyard and shot it”. It sounds a bit extreme, but honestly speaking, isn’t that exactly how it feels?


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