We are the books we consume. Both in large and smaller ways publications, books, and even the social commentary we consume feed our minds as if they were vegetables for the mind. Some people never eat anything without examining each bite to determine if it is going to fit their needs; while some eat everything before their eyes, possibly believing that their highly developed internal organ, called the stomach of their conscious will sort out off the wheat and dust.
However, I’m not trying to discuss the importance of reviewing the content we read, but to remind us that what we read matters to more than just entertainment.
Reading books educates us and inspires our minds, and stimulates. In a way, it determines us. Reading lets us experience things wide and diverse, and also exciting and dangerous, all within the comfort of our favourite chair.
Then why is fantasy on our list of foods that are most nutritious?
It’s all we need to do is look at the conventions of the genre to comprehend. If you’ve ever been a fan in any way, you’ve encountered such plot elements like the “hapless farmer who is battling The Ultimate Evil Dark Lord.” There’s plenty of discussion and critique about this particular one as well, and it definitely is a common plot element. You’ll find a myriad of versions of it in novels throughout the genre.
However, it’s been done often with a purpose. Like all timeless ideas the truth in this story is shared by all of us. I encourage you to look past the cliche for a second and look at the “hapless farmer” for what it really is.
It’s a coming-of-age storythat encourages everyone to reflect on the times of our own inadequacy struggles, heartbreaks, and victory. It demonstrates that the most insignificant individual is able to make a difference in society, and that we all have a role to play. It focuses on epic battles of good and evil and as our farmer battles himself against forces that are much larger than him, we are encouraged to examine our own lives and consider what we can do to develop, and how we can overcome those Ultimate evils that we face in our lives.
In the course of the journey of the farmer and the subsequent chapters, we observe his courage, honor, and integrity — even sometimes aspects of noblesse. If we’re eating without thinking, or absorbing every chapter in turn These ideas shape and shape how we think. If you’re reading a fantasy novel these ideas of nobleness as well as courage and honor start to enshrine your everyday lives. Who wouldn’t want some more chivalry in the world? A bit more compassion? A bit more understanding or giving importance to other people?
Fantasy encourages us to look at the most appealing qualities of humanity while at the same time it is impossible not to take a look at our own lives and those around us in a healthier light.
Find the best new fantasy books over at Cabbage Tree Books…