Characters are People Too


Have you a read a book that changed your life?  For me, that book was The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene.

I got this book from Santa in 1987 – the year that I really wanted a computer.   The home computer was not popular just yet, so I knew I was dreaming when I put it on my list.  However, my mother, I mean Santa, knew that this book would be better for me than any piece of technology.  Despite its old-fashioned image on the front, I decided to read it.  It was love at first read.

It wasn’t the plot line of the book that had a direct impact on me, but it was the character of Nancy Drew.  She was attractive, smart and polished.  She was everything I wished I could be.  Nancy Drew made me a book lover, and I read every book in the series.

Once I became an adult, I had to leave behind childish things like the Nancy Drew books.  Now it is increasingly hard to justify reading fictional characters doing fictional things when there are millions of real people living real lives.  On my iPad, I feel compelled to read each newspaper app and consolidated news app before letting myself dig into pretend worlds on my Kindle app.

So last week, I was reading one of those news apps and discovered the following article:

The Business Case for Reading Novels by Anne Kreamer

Apparently there is a scientific reason to read novels again since reading about people in the fictional world can help us relate to people in the real world.  This is great news for us book lovers.  I can now justify reading any 99¢ option on my Kindle even if it isn’t a historical biography or business book.

I hope everyone has a similar story about a life-changing book or character.  If you haven’t, I highly recommend the Nancy Drew books.  After all these years, I still think Nancy Drew makes a much more sensible role model than any pop star, movie star or Kardashian.

2 thoughts on “Characters are People Too

  1. Your mom is going to love reading this! I think I have learned more about life and people through fiction than I could ever learn from any other source. How else could you ever know someone’s inner thoughts?

  2. Unless someone wrote a completely honest autobiography, we rely on “fiction” to imagine what the characters are thinking. Which reminds me of a play that I had to read for a college course – “Six Characters in Search of An Author” by some Sicilian guy, can’t quite remember his name. Aren’t we all validated that someone thinks the same way I do, and isn’t it interesting, when someone has a different point of view. Are we all looking for the author?

    Who knew Susan that those Nancy Drew books would have such an impact? Who knew?

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