Thursday, April 6, 2017

E is for “Escapism”

Welcome to the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Every day in April (except Sundays), I’ll be sharing a short bookish memory with you.

When I was younger, I didn’t really care about the literary quality of a book. I didn’t pay much attention to structure, themes, symbols, motifs, or writing style. I mostly just read for escapism. If a book made me forget about the real world, I liked the book. Some of the novels I obsessed over when I was younger would probably make college literature professors cringe.



Did any other 1990s kids read the Countdown series? No? I don’t blame you. If I reread them as an adult, they’d probably give me a brain hemorrhage.


Stephen King was (and still is) one of my favorite escapist authors. I can read his novels for hours and be so absorbed in them that I don’t notice time passing.

For me, the lure of escapism is strong. When I was 20, I won a poetry contest and had my poem published in The Denver Post newspaper. The paper gave me a bookstore gift card as payment for the poem. I had planned on spending the card on craft books that would make me a better reader and writer, but when I got to the bookstore, I walked right past the pretentious craft books and spent the whole card on Stephen King novels. No regrets.


Tiny part of my Stephen King shelf. Yes, he gets his own shelf in my house.


I still read for escapism. Right now, one of my favorite authors is Victoria Schwab. I can’t imagine her books will ever be common assigned reading in schools, but I don’t care. Whenever I want to escape, I reach for her novels. I think escapism is a very valid reason to love a book.





Which books/authors do you read to escape?







27 comments:

  1. Right now, my favorite escape author is Carl Hiaasen. His books are crazy adventures set in South Florida. They are hilarious and fun.
    I also love Stephen King, need to read IT now that they are remaking the movie!
    And if you haven't read Night Circus - it is a must. Romantic, fantasy, adventure. So not the type of book I would normally read but WOW. Just loved it.

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    1. I have read The Night Circus. I also recently read IT. Now I’m excited for the movie.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  2. I agree with Laura on Carl Hiaasen. Others would include the novels of Wendell Berry and Clyde Edgerton and the non-fiction of Rick Bragg and Michael Perry. I also like Twain and Hemingway

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    1. I guess I need to check out some Carl Hiaasen books. Lots of people have recommended them to me.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  3. I read Stuart Woods books to escape. His very first book was Chiefs and was quite literary, but then he found his formula and stuck to it. I do love some of his characters, however, and will keep reading until he is no longer around.

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    1. I’ve never heard of Stuart Woods. I’ll have to look him up.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  4. Escapism is probably my biggest reason for reading! Always has been. And I think that's okay- the world is too screwed up not to escape sometimes lol. I don't need serious literary works...

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    1. Yeah, I’m feeling the same way right now. I’m currently rereading Harry Potter because I don’t want to read serious stuff.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  5. Almost every book I read is for escapism, though with mixed results.

    My two favourite places to visit are Middle-earth and the wizarding world of the Harry Potter books. I've read them so many times that I can picture everything perfectly, so it's like heading back to a familiar place where everything is safe, because even if bad things happen, I know what's coming so I'm mentally prepared.

    Cait @ Click's Clan

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    1. YES! I love Harry Potter. I’m rereading the 4th book right now.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  6. I think escapism is why I read everything for the most part. I love to go somewhere else for a while.

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    1. I’m always happy when I can get lost in a book and not think about real life for a while.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  7. I'm impressed by your poetry contest win. Hope you saved the newspaper it was in.

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    1. Lol, I’m impressed I won, too. I’m a terrible poet.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  8. Generally my escape reading is the mystery genre. Current favorites are Jonathan Kellerman and Robert Galbraith (unlike many other readers, I never fell head over heels for Harry Potter, but I sure do like Cormorant Strike!).

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    1. I really need to read the Cormorant Strike books. I’ve always meant to read them. It just hasn’t happened yet.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  9. The first book that I ever really escaped reality with was Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy. I was going through tough times and it helped me cope with the world by letting me pretend I was somewhere else for a little while. Now I'm super attached to that book series!

    Wren @ For the Love of Books

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    1. That’s how I feel about Harry Potter. I’m attached to them because I’ve spent so much of my bookish life in the wizarding world. It’s better than this world.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  10. Ah escapism! That is my reason for reading. I'm not a person who really cares about rules of literature or symbols and stuff, I just read to enjoy. Over the years I've read different genres but when it comes to sheer fun and escapism I still enjoy a good horror, apocalypse and prepper fiction, zombies and monsters and well written romance-light/free UF. I also have a Stephen King shelf but mostly his older stuff. IT is one of my go to books when I want to curl up with an old favourite, along with Harry Potter! Losing myself in an apocalypse of some kind is my idea of fun!

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    1. I agree! There’s nothing better than a good apocalypse to take your mind off real life.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  11. Yes, yes, one thousand times, yes! Reading is all about escapism for me. I put in my time in high school, and have read many literary classics. Now, I must admit, I tend towards fluff. I love getting lost in the stories, and you can often see me smiling as I read. Schwab is fantastic! Her books are amazing, and I do enjoy escaping this world entirely through an SFF book. Love this post!
    Sam @ WLABB

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    1. Thanks! I don’t read as many classics as I used to, but I still try to get through a few of them a year. I prefer the escapist books, though.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  12. This is such a cool idea for a post! I think that most of my reading is for escape! Right now I am really enjoying contemporaries and authors like Jenny Han and Morgan Matson fit the bill for that fluffy, mental escape. :)

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    1. Thanks! I love contemporary YA, too. I mostly read the darker contemporaries, though.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  13. I would say everything I read is for escape. I don't worry about the literary quality of any of my books. I just read what I like. As I watch my daughter struggle with assigned books, I am glad that I don't have to ever pick up another classic in my life unless I decide that I want to.

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  14. If someone asked me why I read, the answer will always be escapism. I was busy rereading my two favourite novels these past two days because I was sick, and I wanted to escape into a familiar kind of world!

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  15. I definitely read for escapism---and I'm not a bit sorry!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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