I will start with a question.
Is there a universe out there that you’ve read about in a book that just seems so real and alive to you that it upsets you deep inside that it isn’t real and you aren’t there? Are there characters that touch your heart so tenderly that you don’t care if people think you are stupid but as far as you are concerned you know them? You are more emotionally attached to them and their plight then you are of real life people right in front of you?
If you have I’d love to know which ones so leave me a message in the comments. If not then why not?
Let me tell you about some of mine…
As you all probably have guessed by now I’ve not had a particularly kind life. I guess life is what you make of it and having been beaten to a nervous wreck at school and at home by parents, teachers, students and a psychopathic sister I never really had the confidence to make anything OF my life.
Why would it then surprise anyone to find out that I’m a book worm?
I found comfort in reading about worlds that weren’t real but that I could dream were real. Characters facing bigger problems then I think I’ll ever face made me hope for a day when my quest would present itself and I’d be able to stand tall, fight the bad guys, win the girl/guy/whatever and live a happier life. Till then I’d just absorb every magical, fantastical and downright beautiful universe I could get my hands on.
Why I guess I had the idea to write about this is being thrown back into Oz through the “Dorothy Must Die” books by Danielle Paige. Oz was one of the very first worlds that I fell in love with. I guess its the first world a lot of people fell in love with and its one of the most magical. I guess Dorothy along with Matilda were my heroes. A girl that dreams about something MORE and gets it and a girl who loved to read and used her brains. I wanted to be both of them but most importantly I wanted to walk down my own yellow brick road, I wanted to make friends with a Scarecrow, a Tinman and a Lion. I didn’t think I’d ever want to come home from that but that wasn’t the point.
As a kid with no friends and a abusive dad the thought of a tornado taking me to somewhere magical where I could make friends and go on adventures was what kept me alive. It might have just been in my head but it was better then what I’d be left with if I didn’t have it in my head.
The BFG, Matilda and The Wizard of Oz were some of the first books I read. Already at a very young age my mind didn’t want to ever give up on the belief that giants, Munchkins and magic in general were out there for me.
Not long after that it was the tales of Alice in Wonderland. Another girl who had an amazing adventure just this time none of it made much sense. I guess my obvious craziness comes from my adoration of Wonderland. Suddenly some kind of mixture of Wonderland and Oz, not that they were that different, had etched its way in my head and I never wanted it to leave.
I started reading when I was very young. Before I was a teenager three very important books entered my life.
The Fellowship of the Ring.
Oz and Wonderland gave me magic. It gave me strange creatures, everything your mind can imagine in a landscape.
What those three gave me was just so much more.
Dragons, even baby Swamp Dragons, many different species, adventures, heartbreak and the songs. Everything Oz and Wonderland ever promised and more. I loved Alice and I loved Dorothy but it meant nothing compared to my burning desire to walk the streets of Ankh-Morpork with Vimes, go on a adventure with Biblo or visit Tom Bombadil. Compared to just falling in love with a world and a dream these books gave me lands that I didn’t have to imagine. I live next to woods that at that age went on and on into the distance, I lived next to the moors, farmlands, places with hidden tunnels to go exploring. The worlds in these books didn’t need my boring imagination at all because they were so real to me already.
Plus the people in them. Their stories touched my heart, I wanted to be part of them and spend my life with them. Call me crazy but some of those were my best friends growing up. They never spoke to me, they never were there or could hear my problems but I didn’t read because I wanted someone to listen to me. My life was terrible and I wanted to forget it.
These places never left me though.
Mainly the Discworld.
I tried to tell you all how much Terry Pratchett meant to me when he died, how sad I was and how heartbroken I was. I couldn’t really write all this in a post back then about the man but I’m kind of hoping it makes more sense.
From the moment I first read Guards! Guards! to this moment right now I’m never too far away from a Discworld book. I’m always re-reading one or the other. In fact I’ve brought the final book and never even taken it out of the bag it came in because I won’t read it until I finish re-reading all of them.
Pratchett brought not just a city to life but a whole world. It had magic, dragons, a box on legs that ate people, wizards bickering, fantastical adventures and most importantly the most real people/dwarves/trolls/etc you’d ever read about.
When Death went on a forced vacation I was there on the farm with him. I lost count of how many times I ran across the Discworld with Rincewind. I learnt magic with Tiffany. Fought a Dragon with the Watch. All of that was real to me even though it was just in a book. I want to travel the world like Twoflower did, do something brave, make friends and all that kind of stuff.
I can’t though and I never will be able to. I’ve kind of become resigned to that fact over time. I’ve tried, hell if you followed my ramblings last year you’d see that I tried. I can’t be faulted for trying. Some will say I have to try harder, at times last year I made myself extremely ill by trying harder. It is no secret any more that I became suicidal at the end of the year… As strange as that actually sounds, I’m pretty sure there is a less dramatic way of putting that so just re-read that sentence with the less dramatic way of putting it. I live with that and it isn’t quite as sad and scary as it might seem but it was down to trying TOO much at once. How so? Have you ever tried real hard to do something so simple that even a 6 year old does it easily, fail miserably, make yourself sound and look like a 6 year old and end up feeling lonelier and more miserable then ever? That is what I happened when I tried. When it didn’t work I ended up in a hole deeper then I was in to begin with before I had tried.
People have adventures all the time and they look at someone like me who lives them in my head and pity me.
Understandable I guess. Again most people just don’t think I try. I’ve tried. Many times. As a kid, as a teenager and now as a adult. I don’t get people or how to be social because I had to protect myself and hide myself. They wonder what the hell could be more interesting in a book.
I’d like to have a boring normal life. Have friends, somewhere to go even just the hope of one day not being where I am right now. I would love that. The fact I’m terrified of people, terrified of showing people the real me, worried that there isn’t even a real me to introduce to others means that I know I’m going nowhere.
So just like when I had no friends as a kid and was beaten up by my dad, by other kids and just about anything else I found safety in books as a adult whilst the rest of the world live their lives, make friends, fall in love and have adventures I continue to have my own adventures with my books. I can find new lands, new adventures and new friends. It might not be enough for some but it keeps me alive. I have a very real life with a job and some friends and things to look forward to. I don’t have the normal things that make life worth living and I don’t think I have any dreams any more, I say I do but I honestly don’t think I can bring myself to have a dream any more.
I have books though.
You know what? I’m not even really sad about it.
Funny thing is I think I’ve had a idea for another blog just by writing this one so you might get more then one of these this week. Lucky you guys!
Can you truly be lonely with a book?
Another book/TV Show from my childhood/teenage years was the 10th Kingdom. I just wanted to add that at the end because I think it was just so magical in both the book and the show that it sticks with me as much as something like the Labyrinth did as a kid. Ohhh and the Pagemaster… Anyone remember the Pagemaster?!
Would I give it up for a chance of a normal life? If it was choose books or a group of people that will be there for you, any old job other then the one you have and a chance to have a normal life?
I don’t know any more. I guess I’ve just lost all hope really and books and the worlds inside them keep me from not having a point.