Sunday Salon: Interacting With Books

Good morning, all! I meant to get this up earlier, but stayed up really late last night watching Back to the Future with M and C. You know what? It’s still a good movie 25 years later.

So, a few days ago, Hubby and M got into a discussion. Here’s the gist of it, if I remember right: Hubby started by asking why there weren’t, if JK Rowling was “right”, more magical people in the world? Then he branched out: how does one come by magical powers? Is it genetic? If so, how does one get the gene? M really got into the discussion; it ranged all over from genetics to the idea of cultural pressure to general world-building techniques — Riordan and Tolkien were both brought up at one point — as well as trying, very hard, to justify the small numbers of magical people in Rowling’s world.

I participated a bit, but mostly I sat mystified, thinking, “Guys…. it’s just a book.”

Hubby and I talked about it afterward: he asked if, say, I had ever stopped to wonder how rich Elizabeth Bennett was after she married Darcy. And I honestly had to admit that no, I haven’t. I read books, I enjoy books, I write about books, I talk about books, but I don’t actually think about the world in the books. The most I can admit to is getting crushes on men in books, or wanting to live next door to a particular family, but even those don’t last long after I shut the pages. I just don’t interact with books that way.

Which leads me to today’s question: do you? Do you wonder about the small intricacies in the world that a particular author has created, whether it be fantasy or contemporary fiction? Do you see yourself in that world? Do you want to interact with the people in it?

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8 thoughts on “Sunday Salon: Interacting With Books

  1. I guess I'm more like you. I think about the ideas in books long after I close the book, but imagining it as real? Not so much.

    I had friends back in junior high who had serious plans to go to Narnia on a certain date. The plan was elaborate, and I thought it was silly. But I was also somewhat jealous that they could sustain such a fantasy and be such dedicated fans.

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  2. What a great conversation that took place in your house! I'm similar to you, I think. I become absorbed in the book while reading it, and might wish that I could transport myself into the world that the author has created (David Levithan does that to me frequently).

    I would love to pay more attention to the details of the world, I'm just generally not a detail-oriented person to begin with! 🙂

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  3. I get emotionally involved while reading a book, but I don't think much about the details of the world, as you mentioned. But, I sure can see how that would be fun! We should have more discussions as you've described here. We really should! 🙂

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  4. A trip to Narnia? That does sound cool, Sherry. Though the practical side of me says, “Bah. Improbable.”

    Christina, maybe that's some of my problem. I couldn't keep up with Hubby and M because, honestly, I can't remember all that much about the details of the story. General ideas, impressions, yes. Details, no.

    Suey, it's interesting that you think we should have more discussions like this. Part of me wonders what the purpose of such discussions are; another part completely agrees: it'd be a lot of fun.

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  5. I've been known to imagine what happens after the book ends…I'l keep the story going in my head. But I've never had conversations about literary worlds with other people.

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  6. My family loves to talk about what happened to people after the books ended. We are big rereaders and are fairly detail-oriented, so we remember A LOT of stuff from the books we love. It's been several years since the last Harry Potter book came out, and we're still gossiping about Snape. 😛

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