This past weekend I went to a bookstore with my family and browsed for longer than they wanted and not as much as I did. As we were leaving, my son asked whether I had enjoyed my playdate. It made me pause for a moment, but I could not refute the basic sentiment. My friends are found within the pages of the books I love and, frankly, the ones I am still flirting with on the not-read-yet shelf. This is not to say I don’t have real, flesh-and-blood friends, but the ones who live on the page are among my favorite. I cannot lie.
I am a somewhat typical writer/reader, I think. Somewhat a recluse, though not completely. The condition is not even self-diagnosed. I have proof. On the Myers-Briggs test, which I have taken three times in my life, I have consistently scored 49 out of 50 as an introvert.
I am not a social creature. At least not with the living. But in the world of fiction, I am gregarious, open and a traveler of worlds. I am bold and engaged.
My fictional friends are constant and true. They have seen me through childhood, tumultuous teen years, young adulthood and whatever you want to call where I am now. I am certain they will be there through my golden years too. It is the gift all readers receive. Friends for life. No matter what.
It is also a gift given by writers.