Thrill to Read

Every time I pick up one of these books – the kind that suck you in and become an obsession – I’m reminded of why I love these escapist stories. Of course I admire the years of research that go into writing such an amazing tale and the author’s craft of writing is also a thrill. Ultimately what sucks me in the most is the fleeting chance to pretend I’m someone else for 400 pages. Whether that be a brilliant symbologist in search of the Holy Grail, an artist with an ability to paint an alternate reality, Christ’s bodyguard or many others it’s the chance to live through another character’s eyes, to walk in someone else’s shoes.

Ten years ago my path was laid out before me, ripe for the taking. I was going to be a constitutional scholar after getting a PhD in Political Philosophy and a JD in Constitutional Law. I had great dreams of bringing the glory of the constitution back, renewing its relevance to everyday life. I had dreams of being an expert in something that mattered. Not realizing that has made me second guess myself for years now. Falling by accident into a 9-year long career of nonprofit fundraising and grant writing made me an expert in that field and has been rewarding and failure-ridden.

There is still a part of me that longs to be an expert in something that is thought of so highly. Perhaps that’s my ulterior motive for writing. Because, especially while writing on a blog, there is no counterpoint. I get to be the one and only expert on whatever topic I’m babbling on about at any given time.

I think mostly though what really reels me into these stories is the adventure of it all. Not that I’m hungering to be chased by the police or assassins, but the thrill of discovery through thought and detection totally gets my blood pumping. I’m such a research dork at heart. That’s why grant writing was so attractive to me, it’s just writing research papers that you get paid for.

But even the most high pressure federal grant applications don’t get my heart rate racing like a good book.

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