Books are like magic spells. The cover can intrigue, deceive, or tease at what’s inside. It speaks to the part of the brain that loves to make decisions on sight. It speaks to mood and need and desire. No matter whether it’s fiction or non-fiction. It asks the reader to slip between the covers with the author. Gives you an opportunity to learn something new, about the world, about yourself.
It’s the way it’s always been – Evolution Made It So
Story isn’t just something cute you tell your kids on a night. It’s the real way your brain retains and remembers important information passed from one person to the next. Story is the whole reason you didn’t eat the poison berries, or go swimming in the ever so tempting fishing hole, or put your hand too close to the damn fire. (Did you get told at school about the kid who got a Javelin through their neck because they were pratting about with the long pointy stick the grown up had just trusted you with? You aren’t as stupid as that kid are you? You can be trusted right?)
But I don’t want to give you a lesson in evolution. You don’t need one, you evolved with this knowledge already, even if you aren’t consciously aware of it happening.
And you don’t want me to tell you about that either, because lets face it, you came here for the secret, the magic.
A well crafted book can hold you in it’s spell for hours, days even. Longer than almost anything else. And a persons tastes in books can be as different as their taste in romantic partners. That’s why there are so many genres and sub genres (and seemingly more every year). But sometimes you don’t want a book in a particular genre, you want a book that makes you feel a particular way. You yearn for the book that will fill that hole. You need it. Because there’s something about that feeling, or that situation, or that subject, that you instinctively want to know about.
Who knows what triggered it. Maybe it was the way that woman’s dress swished as she exited the coffee shop into the murky morning gloom whilst you ordered your triple latte frothy mocha coffee (is that a thing, I usually drink my coffee black). Or the moment you thought that car was going to careen out of control and mount the kurb, perhaps you had a sudden intense awareness of everything and everyone around you and knew exactly how to get out of the way or save someone near you.
Would you believe you could have got that knowledge from a book? That, without actually experiencing such a situation, you had actually already prepped for it through a story? Seems unbelievable right?
We are in a time where the number of books available is astonishing. And not only are there a plethora of authors to choose from already, if you can’t find the book you want you can write and publish it yourself.
But, a word of caution, just like a bad love spell a badly written book will not produce the desired results. There are rules. And the rules are there because the brain demands it. If the rules aren’t followed the brain will not retain or remember any of it.
Books: A Suggested Read
I recently came across a book that reminded me of the magic. A book promoted as a fairytale for adults. The cover is stunning, not only to look at but also to hold (yes, I bought the physical copy), and the longer you look at it the more you see. The title, intriguing and yet little different from most fairytale titles. The subtitle gave it a twist, a hint of the dark possibilities. The Blurb gave me pause. And when I started reading it I couldn’t put it down. But what did it teach me? Well, it wasn’t that true love conquers all. Nor was it that a handsome prince on a superior horse would save the girl. Fairytales are warnings your brain will thank you for later.
- The reader must be able to follow a path
- And see it unfold in front of them
- The outcome -the end of the path- must not be impossible
You can learn more about the rules and what the brain thinks of them here.