Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Reading and coincidences

This is likely to be a multi part post over some time as I have a ton I want to incorporate, but just don't have the time to do it in one post. My guess is it would likely be a better read in multiple parts anyway.

One of the things I came to love early on in life was reading. My father used to read books to my brother and I every night and I'd regularly see him reading a book. My mother used to take us to the public library weekly. Going to the library, we were usually left to our own devices to go find whatever we wanted. For a child under 10, it was a great deal of freedom, to meander about the library searching for books I wanted to read. I'm sure a good portion of my fondness for books comes from my parents.

I tend to devour books, they give me something I can become engaged in and you'll likely find me having a hard time putting them down once I've started. I tend to keep them close with me every waking hour when I'm in the middle of one and I look for any downtime in order to pick it up and continue. If by chance I secure a couple hours of reading time, I'm not likely to pay attention to anything else as I focus on the book. There is no better distraction for my over-analyzing mind then reading a book. As a compulsive multi-tasker, I find it relaxing beyond all belief. Now this doesn't mean I won't read in conjunction with other activities, I'll read while eating dinner, or working out, but from a mental perspective, there isn't much I can concentrate on when I'm engaged in a book. It's a relaxing hot tub rest for my mind.

Fiction is my book drug of choice. While I would love to apply my reading skills to works of non-fiction, I just can't do it. I tend to like all sorts of fictions but I have an affinity for Fantasy fiction. Wizards, Dragons, and sword fighting is my nerdy preference. I'm not particularly fond of Science fiction, lasers, spaceships and aliens are ok, but they don't really do much for me, it's also because I just have found Science Fiction to be lacking in character development.

In order for me to really engage in a book, I have to have characters that are interesting and developed. On the surface that sort of sounds stupid, after all what's a book without characters? I realize that I won't be able to be able to explain it without writing a whole book on it, so in an attempt to be brief, I'll use an example. Stephen King books are focused on story (and other things) rather then characters(the majority at least). His books bore me to tears and I struggle to read them if I pick them up. There's just nothing for me to relate too. This preference for character driven stories plays a role in the topic of these posts.

Taking a moment to recap. I escape into books and I prefer Fantasy Fiction character driven stories. I've also realized over the years, that some of my favorite books and characters have paralleled my life in many ways. I don't know whether it's coincidence or if it's an underlying subconscious decision to pursue things in different ways, but there are three characters from book series in particular that I see interesting parallels between.

I'm not entirely sure whether the coincidences I see between the characters and myself is due to my reading their stories and subconsciously incorporating attributes and decisions based on those books or whether it's just that I happened to gravitate to characters that had similar character traits to myself. It's the nature vs nurture argument, which influences the other more?

Over the course of the next posts on this topic, I'm going to share the 3 characters and try and point out some of the similarities I see. Some are situational and some are personality based. It's probably a good time to point out that I don't necessarily think this means anything besides my over zealous self introspection having some fun with self analysis from a different angle. I'm likely in love with my own thinking here and while I may think there are 'multiple' parallels, when it's put to paper it's possible they'll look pretty insignificant.

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