So ... today I was doing some professional reading and came across an interesting article about the connections between a reader and his or her reading choices. The article focuses on two reasons for our reading choices:
- a gravitation to certain books because of our past and the resultant "palace of memory" that particular past creates, and ...
- the relationship between ourselves and our environment (I'm using the term "environment" loosely here).
This article allowed me to come to terms with the escapist aspects of fiction reading in my own life. The term doesn't need to carry the negative connotation that I often find is the unspoken message. There are many good reasons (if one feels they need reasons) to escape into a good book!
"We frequently hear fiction reading described by both readers and fiction's detractors as escape.... However, we need to be clear about what readers are escaping from. They are escaping from a narrow, limiting view of the world and journeying to a place where it is possible to experience a deeper connection to our real selves and to live fully in our world."Smith, Duncan. "Your Brain on Fiction." Reference & User Services Quarterly, vol. 49, issue 1, pp. 38-42.
So do you think reading fiction is a form of escapism? Why or why not? Do you think reading fiction to "escape" in some fashion is a negative thing?