Do you ever read a book or a short story or a piece of prose or really just anything that has words in a consecutive paragraph, and before you even realize it, you’ve fallen madly in love with the character on the page? That happens to me a lot. Like a lot a lot. I always seem to fall in love with the characters that are incredibly flawed or don’t find the light or end up getting killed off at the end – it’s quite tragic actually.
When my favorite character does get killed off (which nearly always happens) I let out an audible gasp, have to re-read the page about seven more times to make sure I wasn’t reading the words incorrectly, go through a denial phase convinced that they will somehow be revived before the novels end and then finally have a grieving period for said character. Because a part of me, however small or large, did completely, intensely and recklessly fall in love with them somewhere between pages 57 and 463. Then I am left to sit on the couch with the book held against my chest, half in shock and half brewing with anger that the author could do such a wretched thing to me in such a fragile state when I so willingly let myself get pulled into his or her story. I so willingly let myself love this character, this voice, that spoke to me through four or five hundred pages.
But that’s why I love reading. I love getting so lost in a story that you actually feel when something happens to a character. Something moves you so much that you have no choice but to have your emotions play out in real-time as your eyes move over the words on the page. Ever since I was a young girl, I’ve always loved reading. My dad would take me to the Borders that was an hour away just so I could get a new haul of books. I would walk through the aisles and take my sweet time, moseying up and down, looking at all the pretty spines of the books and trying to carry as many as my arms could hold.
Reading gives you new pictures to conjure up in your head when sometimes the real world just isn’t doing it for you that day. It gives you a mini escape into someone else’s world, even if just for a little while. The words on the page can make you feel angry or sad or loved or understood or connected or all of the above all at once. That’s why I love books. That’s why I fall in love completely, intensely and recklessly in love with characters and their stories.