What is it that really makes us fall in love with a story?
Sure you can like the author's writing style and be enthralled by the unique premise or adore its engaging characters, but is that what really makes the story resonate? On the surface, these things might initially reel us in but I think it's also deeper than that. Here are some of the reasons why, for me, some stories are just better than others:
I can relate to them. Whether it be the situation, a character or an overarching message, books that make me empathize are the ones that linger. These books give me insights that I hadn't thought of before and they show me that despite the overarching conflict, everything will be okay. At a baser level, we all crave intimacy and there's nothing better than forging a personal connection to a character because you've been there, done that before.
They challenge me. My beliefs, my values and my perceptions can be completely altered because of these stories. And some will allow me to face my deepest fears without posing real risk in my every day life. I can navigate through them via the characters and come out on the other end feeling stronger and wiser because of it. More simply put, reading these kinds of books makes me a smarter, happier and more well rounded person.
Inspiration and creativity are products of reading them. Truly amazing books satiate my need for creativity. They fuel my imagination in new and engaging ways. They challenge me to think outside the box. They inspire me to step outside my comfort zone and try new things. They not only make me want to be a writer, but they reaffirm that I can be.
They say everything I've always wanted to say but didn't know how. There's nothing that feeds my soul more than a beautifully written book. But it's not just the words that make it memorable, its the thoughts, emotions and sentiment behind them that matter. These stories echo my feelings and emotions in that perfectly eloquent way. They literally leave me at a loss for words.
There are any number of reasons why we read, all of them equally important. In a world that's full of books, we should hold on to those special few that occupy that book nook in our hearts and understand exactly why they do. I love nothing more than the experience of a powerful story, because that's what it is, we don't just read it ---- we experience it. And I don't know about you, but that's the biggest reason why I love to read.
So, why do you read? And what makes one story stand out from all the others? Are there any books that have profoundly changed your life? If so, which ones were they and why?