The joy of sharing the stories you love with others

November 28 2014

First: I turn 30 in February. Any recommendations for how I should celebrate?
Second: What books, music, or movies do you lend to others?

When I walk into a bookstore or a library, I get an instant feeling of lightness. The smell of the books, the quiet movement of people, the light filtering in through the windows and skylights. The overwhelming visual stimulation of color, shapes, and sizes, bookshelves placed end to end, filling the space everywhere you look. It’s a feeling of sheer possibility, of weight lifting.
I get a similar feeling when I walk into a museum or a movie theater, knowing I am about to discover something- something curious, something interesting, something awesome. Delicious.

I’ve tried to write my own stories before, to participate. I get about 3 chapters in and give up. I love creating worlds and characters, but plotting a story? I don’t want that responsibility- to put in the hard work or make agonizing decisions. I’m content to consume the stories told by others and feel a sense of vicarious victory when things work out just so, to marvel at the cleverness of the creators.

I love the escapism of science fiction and fantasy, of adventure and romance, for adults and young adults alike. Stories have such impact- the alternate lives, careers, and realities I can experience through someone else’s imagination result in endless curiosity and child-like joy. Even re-reading stories I know and love can instantly improve a bad day as I cease to exist for a few hours.

Yes, consuming stories is satisfying.
And sharing stories is, as well.

I love physical books, DVDs, CDs, etc, because I can lend them out to friends and colleagues. Yes, I want them to find something new and amazing, but it’s also partly selfish-this extends the story for me since I now get to re-experience the joy of discovery through their progress, laughing and cringing and remembering all over again.

To that effect, and for you, here are the stories I lend out, recommend, and often revisit myself:

-Stray, by Andrea K Host. “I walked into adventure and adventure has given me blisters.”
-The Thief, by Megan Whalen Turner.
-All of Tamora Pierce’s Tortall series of books, particularly the Protector of the Small quadrology
-The Emperor’s Soul, by Brandon Sanderson, a modern and satisfying fairy tale
-Star Wars X-Wing series, by Michael A Stackpole and Aaron Allston, adventure and fun
-Ender’s Game and Ender’s Shadow, by Orson Scott Card
-The Philadelphia Story with Cary Grant, Kathryn Hepburn, and Jimmy Stewart
-Stranger than Fiction with Will Farrell, charming and overlooked
-Fred Astaire “Isn’t This a Lovely Day”
-The Ink Spots “Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall”
-The Avett Brothers “Kickdrum Heart”
-The Features “Idea of Growing Old”
-Yellow Ostrich “I think U are great”
-Rufus Wainwright “Want Two” Album
-Typhoon’s “White Lighter” Album
-Cold War Kid’s “Robbers & Cowards” Album
-“Things Could be Worse” The Tragedy Series by Benjamin Dewey
-Visit Austin, in Central Texas, between March 23 and April 23. The temperature is still crisp, the bluebonnets are everywhere, the grass practically glows, and it overwhelming feels of Spring and wellbeing. Check out the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum while you are there.

I’d love to hear back if you check these out. That’s the point!

Thanks, and Gig ‘Em, Aggies,

[email protected]
Austin, Texas, USA

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