Friday, September 12, 2014
Adults Need Fictional Heroes Just Like Kids
As a young boy growing up in early 1970s Brooklyn, I was introduced to reading books from the library and bookstore. The only screens around back then was the movie theatre (one movie per theater) and the television set – no computers, cellphones, or e-readers. The books I remember most were those of Dr. Seuss and the ones featuring Curious George. Many books may have shaped my earliest thoughts and helped to define who I would become, but these two series stick out in my mind more than four decades after I was introduced to them. My kids are also being raised on the same books and they love Curious George big time. How could they not?
There’s something special about Curious George and Dr. Seuss that could entertain and enlighten any generation. My question is this: Where are the adult versions of such books, ones that open our minds and hearts to new ways of seeing the world? Has the book industry, as diverse, vast and great as it is, let us down when we need it most?
Why are adult books only about things that seem to pit good vs. evil or life vs. death? Superhero YA books endlessly teach such themes. There may be one-off books that tackle other subjects, but when it comes to a book series, what would adults read the way kids were nursed on Dr. Seuss and Curious George?
Why isn’t there a series of books for other stages in life – your 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, and beyond? We need a new way of looking at life during each stage of it. Who will step up to be the voice of these generations beyond early childhood?
What happens is we move from fiction to non-fiction. We read books to solve problems or to enhance our relationships, careers, health, etc. But we need more than a how-to-manual – we need a colorful voice or persona to help lead us through life and expand our imagination, passion, and curiosity for life.
As we get older reality becomes harsher. We start to lose things -- and people. We start to miss opportunities. We begin to realize others are better at certain things. We realize people die and before they do, they live hard lives. When you are a kid, all seems possible and all the negative stuff in life is unknown to us or seems far removed. So adults, as they age, need a Curious George to help them along, perhaps to learn new lessons or be reminded of the old ones.
Will the Dr. Seuss of the middle-aged please appear? We could sure use you!
Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2014