It is often said that reading can transport us to a different time and place. We can travel to exotic and far-off lands simply by immersing ourselves into the words lovingly written by J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. We can drift away to worlds where magic is at our finger tips with the help of J.K. Rowling, or laugh our butts off thanks to Dave Barry. The truth is, we can attend to any of our personal and emotional needs just by opening a book.
Ever get the feeling that you just don’t belong? Like you are alone in a world where everyone else is secure and confident? Just immerse yourself in Wonder by R.J. Palacio and you will be reminded that everyone, at times, gets the feeling that they are solitary beings floating through a universe inhabited by other people who fit right in. A book is just good company, particularly when good company is hard to find. Reading serves as a reminder that our fears and worries are not ours alone. A book is a comfort, a friend, a soul mate.
When I was younger, I loved reading stories that, while they didn’t fall into the fantasy genre, were fantasies to me: stories of love and romance that gave me a picture of what I wanted for my future. Writers like Judy Blume gave me ideas, hope, and big plans. In writing I Never, I went back in time to high school and wrote the story of first love I would have wanted for myself. I was able to meet the boy I wished I had known and loved.
Do you need an escape? Want to laugh? Cry? Fall in love? Travel? Do you feel lonely? Scared? Anxious? Open a book and you can be exactly where and who you want to be.
Laura Hopper has worked in the film industry and is currently a book editor. I Never is her first novel. She lives in Los Angeles, California, with her family. Meet Laura at Books Inc. in Palo Alto on January 18!