A few years ago I would have laughed if you told me I would become a huge fan of fantasy
. I was quite content with realistic fiction and loved to think about myself as the various characters in my books. But somehow or another, I got turned onto fantasy and itís a ride Iíve never left.
Love It or Hate It
A lot of people, girls especially, love fantasy. Boys like fantasy, but seem to prefer science fiction just a wee bit better in my experience. But for every person who loves it, there seems to be someone out there who hates it. And then for each of the haters, there seems to a person who ďcanít really get into it.Ē I can understand those people pretty well since I was the same way for years, and there are still some kinds of fantasy that Iím over before the first page is up (talking animals come to mind.)
The Fantasy Explosion
Once upon a time, the primary fantasy series were the Legends of Narnia and the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings books. There were others, but these were the ones people were familiar with in the majority of cases. (A Wrinkle in Time and James and Giant Peach were two other fantasy classics, by the way.) But then a book came along that changed everything.
A little boy with wizard powers was sent to Hogwarts and suddenly the world couldnít get enough fantasy. Funnily enough, I didnít read the first Harry Potter until way after the initial Harry Potter
mania, and I actually didnít like it. Harry was too young to catch my interest and I ďcouldnít really get into it.Ē That changed of course as each new book came out. I usually read every book in a series once I start because I like to see a story continuing, so Harry Potter grew on me over time.
In todayís libraries and bookstores, youíre more likely to see fantasy on the displays and tables than any other kind of book. I like fantasy
, but sometimes I get a bit frustrated looking for a bit of realistic fiction among the spin-offs and copy-cat vampire series.
Itís okay though. I might get frustrated looking for something deep and meaningful to read, but fantasy has done something that no other kind of book seems to have done. Those who heard about an awesome book or series like Twilight, A Great and Terrible Beauty, Eragon or even Harry Potter were likely to be caught up in the mania surrounding it.
In fact, looking around my school at the moment, I see giant copies of Twilight and other books from the series in the arms of people you would never expect to read for an assignment, much less pleasure. Every Harry Potter movie causes a huge rash of sales of the book in the movie both before and after. It seems that people get intrigued by what they see or anticipate seeing of a series and they want to read it Ė even if theyíve never done much reading for fun before.
Those of us who read all the time know how powerful a good book can be, and itís fun to watch my peers and friends learn this for the first time. Iím convinced fantasy is making people want to read.