Monday, April 29, 2013

Still READING Fiction Novels? WHY?

Well, of course we have all heard that reading books, whether printed on paper or available in e-form, is declining throughout much of the human race. After all we have technology--from television to the latest eyeglasses with a tiny video screen up in one corner. That's how we learn and are entertained today.  Why waste our time with a book?

Well . . . .

Imagine holding a baby. Picture the baby. Feel it. Soft. Warm. A bit heavy, maybe like a ten-pound sack of sugar. Interesting sounds and smells. Perhaps a tiny fist opens and grabs your finger. Love. Got that image?

Okay. Think about being in a tornado or hurricane. These days, most of us can at least imagine that. Furious wind. The famous freight-train sound. The crack of splintering wood, perhaps a rush of water. Air sucked out of us. How can we breathe? Fear rising to panic.

Next, think about watching a Fourth of July parade. The high school band is marching by, playing "Stars and Stripes Forever," perhaps with more enthusiasm than talent. But still . . . heart beating faster. Tears?

What have you been feeling?   Emotions!

Humans are hard-wired to express and feel emotions. Sadness, joy, fear, horror, outrage, pride, compassion, joy, empathy, love. As humans we feel, we respond, we even make decisions based on emotion. We may decide what is good and true and what is not based on a "gut" feeling" which, frankly, is just another way to use and express emotion. What would human life be like without emotions? But to get there, something must have the time to touch us--the time to get inside us far enough to stir responding feelings. (Humans often find great satisfaction in responding to positive emotions.)

Personal relationships, experiencing or viewing disaster or triumph, and much more, can awaken emotion. Reading a book can also give us that. Books offer enough time to create emotions and allow us to experience them. I think, because of that--if nothing else--books in some form will endure.

What do you think?



Morgan Mandel said...

If a book moves me to laugh or cry or think, it's done its job. I love sharing emotion with a character in a book.

Morgan Mandel

Radine Trees Nehring said...

RIGHT! I guess you got the point that the baby, the tornado, the parade were "only" words! Yet those words had the ability to create images in thought, or at least that was my hope.

And yay, I finally figured out how to comment on this blog (I think, at least) Now to go through the process indicated below and see if it works for me.