Guest Post: Why Read Fantasy

I'm happy to introduce yet another guest poster for my "oh god NaNoWriMo" month of letting other folks write blog posts for me while I panic about writing 50k in a month LOL. This next poster is a dear friend and pen pal of mine who shares an uncanny similarity to my own tastes in books and bookish goodies. I thought having a reader's perspective for a blog would be a nice change. I hope you enjoy!

Why Read Fantasy

by Liz H.

Recently my grandmother asked if I had grown out of reading fantasy yet. It’s funny that I was surprised by this question since I’ve been reading almost exclusively fantasy and science fiction for the last fifteen years or so. That’s a little over half my life time.

Later, when I got back home that night and over the next couple of days, I examined why I was so attached to my fantasy books. It really all comes down to escapism. In junior high, I hated reading a book to the end and finding the conclusion depressing and too similar to the life I was living.

For a little background, I went to a small parochial school where the class size was around 10. My family didn’t have money and the other kids liked to pick on me. It wasn’t as bad as the bullying shown in the media. In fact, it was just minor stuff that picked at my self-esteem. Importantly, I never did feel like I fit in.

I was introduced to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by the children’s librarian at the public library in town. Not only was this a Christian allegory approved by my school but that book is an amazing fantasy story about a young girl teased by others who finds her way into a world that appreciates her talents and allows her to grow into herself.

Once I started reading the rest of C.S. Lewis’ Narnia series, there was no stopping me. I found myself with my nose in a book whenever possible. Throughout high school, my teachers gave me permission to read in class once I was done with homework. In between classes and every evening, any car trip, and even at family gatherings, I had a book in hand. Purse size was chosen by whether a book or two would fit inside. I spent extra cash on books, my free time at the library, and always had three stories rattling in my head at any given time.

But why? Why fantasy? It just wasn’t enough to read about someone else’s story. I needed to escape anything that felt like reality. I needed somewhere to be me. Somewhere no one would bother me or degrade me or belittle my opinions.

Eventually I realized that I was connecting to the characters the most. These were my friends. My books never had harsh words for me, just amazing adventures and well-rounded characters. And now that I’m an “adult”, I find that politics, civil rights, sexual harassments, and shootings are just as debilitating as those snide remarks and mean comments back in grade school, but worse. So much worse. I do what I can, but it never feels like enough. So I escape into my books. And live for a couple hours in Tortall or Adarlan or Sacoridia.

Before coming back to Earth.

Guest Poster Bio

Liz H. is the sole reviewer at Redd's Reads, https://reddsreads.wordpress.com/, where the main focus is Fantasy and Science fiction of all ages. Featuring reviews, blog tours, and bookish fun. When not reading, Liz likes to create art, using a variety of media, but especially colored pencils. Check out her most recent Magic the Gathering Planeswalkers paired with Pokemon postcards in her Etsy shop, NovellaEphemera https://www.etsy.com/shop/NovellaEphemera