When I was a child I was a bit fanciful. I remember my mother on several occasions explaining the difference between 'real' and 'pretend/imagination'. And speculating about things was fine, playing was fine, but in reality I would not be able to fly off the roof with my umbrella like Mary Poppins and if I got hurt she would kill me.

I love to read. It comes with the whole librarian thing and I have been reading since I was 4. I do read a lot of non-fiction; history, medicine, science, psychology etc. and I do enjoy learning. But I really love fantasy, science fiction, mysteries and etc. I am not big on romance but have read some and I have also read westerns. I am totally eclectic with my reading.

I Love reading about ghosts and goulies and things that go bump in the dark. I like TV shows like Supernatural, Fringe as well as shows such as Bones, and Leverage. All are fiction.

The thing is, with being a very non-discriminating reader from a young age and having discussions about reality from a young age with my mother, I can enjoy the fantasy without it becoming my world view.

For instance, C.S. Lewis with all the religious symbolism in the Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe series was no more real to me than Edward Eager's Half Magic when I was a child. My mother let me read anything and and when I was nine introduced me to To Kill a Mockingbird. Which she explained was based on true things, while fiction. Another door opened to contemporary and historical fiction.

But I still enjoy the creepy and the scary. The idea is you suspend your disbelief for as long as the story/movie/TV show lasts and then go back to your real life. This is why I think religion never 'took' for me.

The Gods and Goddesses of Norse, Greek and Roman legend were as real or rather not real as the Sunday School stories.

The murder mysteries such as the Agatha Christie stories are fantasy too. As is the DaVinci Code. As is that badly written series about teen vampies, as is Lord of the Rings, as is Call of the Wild, as is Lord of the Flies.....I could go on forever.

Anyway the Supernatural is great fun if you really know the difference between Fantasy and Reality.

I have to thank my mother for teaching me critical reading skills. I think we should be teaching all our children critical reading, thinking and listening skills. Let's get them reading and teach them to be skeptical.

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Tags: fantasy, fiction, ghosts, reality, supernatural

Comment by Frank on November 17, 2010 at 4:23am
You should check out the book "American Gods" by Neil Gaimon. Amazing read, and I think you'll enjoy the humor in it, and the amount of research into folklore and mythology.
Comment by Cathleen Sessions on November 17, 2010 at 10:57am
American Gods is one of my favorites.
Comment by Cathleen Sessions on November 19, 2010 at 3:00am
In my experience if you don't read for pleasure then perhaps you have a learning disability which makes you neither illiterate nor dumb.

Or you just haven't found things you like to read. Many people assume they are suppose to like the books other people reccommend and when the books bore them, they feel like they are too dim to get it. Not true. I often am bored by books other people tell me are good.

And some people can read just fine but get no pleasure from it. That is okay by me. As a librarian, I can now reccommend DVD's or books on CD's or electronic audio.

And maybe you just have other things to do. REAL librarians know that you are not 'illiterate or dumb', and really people should mind their own business.

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