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Sunday, April 22, 2018

Are Books Better Than Life -- Or Do They Make Life Better?




I’ve always been told that one can be optimistic or pessimistic.  But sometimes you can be both or at least what I call a realist with optimism.  You can be hopeful, dream big, and choose to see the good in life and others BUT you must also acknowledge certain realities:

·         We all die.

·         Most of life is filled with taxes, chores, obligations, errands.
·         The odds usually are not in your favor – not at the casino, nor the lottery, nor the big things in life.
·         We live too often in fear, anger and loneliness – and not more in happiness, laughter, and love.
·         Life just doesn’t seem fair or make sense all of the time.

The pessimist assumes the worst – and often finds it.  The optimist blacks out the negatives and pursues the positives, often falling short but feeling better about things than others.  So where does the reality of it really fall into place?

We each operate under our own standards – of what we value, like, and find worth pursuing.  At some point we reflect back and wonder why we didn’t get all that we wanted, why others disappointed us, and why life’s cruelties crept into our world.  Even those who are considered successful by one measure, may fall short by others.  Sometimes it seems the trick to living life is to do so with no expectations, minimal obligations, and to demand little of others.

But we want more from life than to just get by, to merely avoid pain or avoid a problem.  We want to experience joy, perhaps travel, accumulate things, have new experiences, and to expose ourselves to amazing ideas.

Perhaps this is where books come in.  They can self-medicate us.

Writing books is an unbridled pleasure and the act of creating one is addictive and contagious.  As writers, we give a gift to others while we get to experience pure ecstasy.

Reading books is also a wonderful pleasure.  We can experience life safely and get exposed to the harsh realities of life without paying a price, taking a risk, or experiencing pain.  We can also see worlds of possibility, ones that don’t yet exist but in the imagination of other writers. We can live in their world without losing the one we really live in.

Can books, collectively or even singularly, help us understand the true meaning of life?  Can any book provide the wisdom, information and theories that we need in order to straddle a life that’s worth living?

Books allow us a convenient escape but can they lead us to take action and build a real world out of the imagined one? Let’s dream together – and wake up together.

“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”
--Mark Twain

“I don’t think writers are comfortable in each other’s presence.  We can talk, of course, for five minutes or so, but I don’t think we want to socialize.”
--Joseph Heller

“The good writing of any age has always been the product of someone’s neurosis.”
--William Styron

“This is what I find most encouraging about the writing trades:  They allow lunatics to seem saner than some.”

--Kurt Vonnegut

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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2018. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.”

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