Want A Little Magic In Your Life?

There’s something about magic. From card tricks to mind-bending disappearing acts magic fascinates everyone. Who wouldn’t want to be able to wave a wand, recite an incantation, or create a potion that will take his cares away? I confess I have an addiction to the television series, Charmed. But today I’m not talking about magic on the stage or magic on the television. If you want a little magic in your life all you need to do is open the cover of a book. The Magic of Books If you’re reading this, I’m betting you understand what I’m talking about. Reading opens your mind to learning and to places you’ve never been. Through a book, you’ll understand ideas and experiences that aren’t yours but somehow reveal yours to you. I’ve read hundreds of books. Yet, there are some that are clearer in my memory than others. Books that woke a bit of magic in me. Books that took me to places I’d never been.  Judging by the Seven books in Seven Days meme making the rounds on Facebook, there are many people who have felt that particular magic. The Magic of Recommendation Think about the books you’ve read. How many […]

A Writer Only Begins a Book

In research terms reading fiction is “text processing.” It’s a highfaluting term for the relationship between a reader and the book he or she reads. A relationship that writers must remember and cultivate in their creations. As Samuel Johnson says, “A writer only begins a book.” In September 1997, the Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, Volume 4, Issue 3. reported a study on reading. The study had students read fiction that contained weak and unsupported statements about school. The fiction was set in either the school attended by the reader or another real school. The researchers expected that the readers would reject the untrue statements about their own school. They also expected the students would have an easier time believing the misinformation about the other school. The results showed that readers must actively construct disbelief when reading. This isn’t news to us today, but it remains a piece of important information. A writer only begins the book, the reader constructs a suspension of disbelief when they come to a book. So much so that they must actively construct disbelief! Readers are looking for a specific experience when they approach a book. It might be entertainment or a new world to explore […]

A Book Is A Dream

Everyone dreams. Not everyone remembers their dreams, but everyone dreams for most of each night. And everyone knows what a dream is. It’s those images and sensations and emotions that blur together while we sleep. It’s involuntary. But approximately 51% of people have at least one lucid dream. In lucid dreams, the dreamers are aware they’re having a dream and may have some control over the dream. If 51% have lucid dreams, 49% of people do not. Or do they? According to Neil Gaiman, a book is a dream that you hold in your hand. Is it really? Our Body While Dreaming To understand the real-life parallels between dreaming and reading, one must first understand dreaming. Most dreams occur during what doctors call REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. The visual and illogical basis of the dreams appears to help us solve some problems. Normal dreaming also appears to lower stress levels. Your body undergoes many changes during sleep. Your brain is active, your eyes move rapidly(hence the name), your limbic system responds (it’s what controls emotions), and you go through a state of sleep paralysis. Yes, for a brief period you are unable to move your arms or legs. It’s […]