I read a book recently.
Whilst reading, I noticed I was mentally composing questions or reprimands to the author.
Did you really just do that? Why’d you make her go there?
This is a change from the reading mind of my childhood; the time when I completely absorbed into a story, lived in the world, and watched the characters walking about. I’d surface from the last page, blinking at supposed reality, but not really entering it till all memories of Narnia or Yorkshire or The Enchanted Forest dissipated.
And then I’d pick up the sequel.
Looking at both ends of my experience, I’ve realized a path, a journey, a progression in my reading.
At first, in the child years of absorption, I was a toddler at Disneyland. Everything was beautiful, exciting, without flaw, and controlled by adults who handled all the details so all I had to do was have fun.
After that, the pleasure of the thing was ruined by high school English teachers. They insisted on an analysis of why every ride was fun, what the motives of the costumed characters really were, and what else Walt Disney meant by his questionable “It’s a Small World After All.”
In college, I moved on to read about the underprivileged workers at Disneyland. Who was the real ‘power’ behind what powered the rides, how could we feel exactly as he felt, and why must we be part of the hedonistic problem?
Between then and now, of course, is Mom Brain. With limited cranial capacity, I’ve had to read non-fiction to plan the amusement park trip so that every else could have fun. I got to ride a few fun books, but always followed up with the self-help variety once guilt kicked in.
And today we’re also here: a year after dedicating myself more fully to the idea that I can write, that I can create something like Disneyland.
So I’m mentally yelling at other authors about their design. Typical.
I wonder when I’ll get to the point of recognizing constructions or anticipating smart-sounding elements like ‘rising action.’ Will I ever be invited to Club 33?
I probably need to read some more. Has anyone else noticed a change in how s/he reads? Do you still enjoy reading?