A Real Page Turner

“I also read about Heathcliff’s unexpected three-year career in Hollywood under the name Buck Stallion and his eventual return to the pages of Wuthering Heights.”

— Jasper Fforde, Lost In A Good Book

Being in a book.

I have been thinking about this subject for years, I think since I first started to truly comprehend the magic of written words on a page.

In other words (cough - sorry, couldn't help it), at a very tender age indeed, I was wanting to jump between the covers of The Velveteen Rabbit and make sure that goddamned Nursery Fairy made my bunny real. By holding her to ransom if necessary, or breaking her wand.

Similarly, as my reading tastes matured, I was certain, absolutely certain, that if Anne Shirley met me, we would instantly become besties and she would forget all about boring Diana, and I would of course then get to meet Gilbert Blythe.


I do have a point here, I'm just busy between the pages. Which I suppose is my point.

If you could jump between the covers - of a book, not a bed (rude) - which one would it be?

And I mean as yourself, not as a character. Much as I love playing Sherlock Holmes (the dreadful old misogynist), I would love to go in and be myself within The Hound of the Baskervilles, or A Study In Scarlet, and find a way of helping Holmes and Watson to the truth. Or maybe being an even bigger villain than Moriarty - depending on my mood at the time.

Which characters would you love to meet on a real life basis?

Some would be too depressing for words. Much as I love Rochester, I think that all that brow beating and gloom and doom might be a bit much on a daily basis. Plus there's the mad wife, and the corsets... meh. All a bit much.

Jane Austen on the other hand... I can imagine being friends with Lizzie Bennet. I could cheerfully smack Arsey Darcy around the head, but I do like a pair of pantaloons... and riding boots. Phwoar. Book of choice however would have to be Persuasion, because I actively, and actually, love the characters in it. I can envisage conversations with Anne Elliot, and Captain Wentworth. Although I am not sure I would last long simply not doing anything other than 'visiting' all day.

I would probably end up falling off a sea wall to stave off boredom.

I was obssessed with Game of Thrones when the books came out - I read them cover to cover and sequentially. Would I like to live within them? Realistically... hell no. It would be like living at the Fall of Rome, or under the Borgias. One would never relax. Plus there's the need to speaketh wryly at all times... no... miss that one. In theory, love it. In practice, no thank ye.

I dream about books. I worship them. The characters contained within my favourite books' covers are a part of my heart. They beat inside me. I never want this to not be the case.

However... life is not a novel. It may feel like a trashy paperback at times, or even War and Peace, but it ain't.

It's non-fiction. It is absolutely a book, but it is writing itself, and we need to live it without regrets and without fear, and with love.

It may not be the approach favoured by the authors we admire most, but who is editing this thing anyway? We are.

I am.

Admittedly, given the opportunity, I would hop inside To Kill A Mockingbird and never let Atticus Finch go... but then again, I could get stuck in 1984 with Big Brother, and then where would I be?

Write your own story.

Oh, and if you get the chance - help me encourage the Nursery Fairy.

She needs a bit of a prod that one.