How Books Change Your Life

I wrote a paper for psychology class a few years ago about the influence books have on the reader. My argument, extremely simplified, was something to the effect of if you were to read a book where everyone jumped off a bridge and survived it was unlikely that the reader would try it themselves. I believe that it is Murphy’s Law that when I want to quote the paper itself I cannot find it anywhere. Upon reflection I have since revised my thoughts on the matter somewhat.

Indirectly a woman, who I have never met and likely will never meet, is partially responsible for one of the most important decisions I will have ever made. All because Diana Gabaldon conceived the character of Jamie Fraser, I found Outlander in the romance section attracted by its artistic cover and substantial size, serendipitously because according to the author it was not in fact intended for this genre. The significance of this purchase would not become apparent for another three years, a friend wanted to arrange an introduction and when I was asked what I liked my response was immediate “smart and red haired”. My husband is the 6’4 red head I was introduced to after that faithful conversation beyond the superficial he does not have much in common with this iconic character but it was enough to drastically alter the future I envisioned for myself. Considering my own experience it lead me to wonder how something so outwardly innocuous could have such a powerful effect on us and in how many other ways have the written word dramatically altered the course that we have set for ourselves even unknowingly.

Various Outlander Covers
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