A have a theory about books: the reason we get so emotionally attached to our favorite stories and characters is because as readers, we’ve had a hand in creating them.
If you think about it, your experience with a book isn’t really about the words on the page. Those are just a vehicle—the blueprint you use to create the mental images that unfold in your imagination as you read. These mental images are the true experience of the story, and they’re unique for every reader. The Ramona Quimby and the Klickitat Street in your head probably look different from the ones in my head, and I doubt either version looks just like the ones that were in Beverly Cleary’s head.
Even speaking as an author who’s also a control freak, this seems like a feature, not a bug. Books are ultimately the product not of one imagination, but two. The…
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