Escaping the everyday in a book or a box

I’m not sure why we do it – leave the comfort and conveniences of our home to cram ourselves into a box on wheels and head for some distant destination.

Our fifth-wheel trailer combines a bedroom, bathroom, living room and kitchen, all in less square footage than our family room here at home, and yet we love filling it with what we consider essentials, so we can have it all while we get away from it all. Doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it?

But there’s an inexplicable pull to escape from our everyday routines. The grass is always greener on the other side of reality.

That’s one reason why I enjoy reading novels. They provide an opportunity for escape into a world unlike my own, a voyeur’s peek into someone else’s reality. It’s not a better life, just a different one.

That may be why I like reading them, but what about writing novels? In a guest post yesterday, debut author Catherine Knutsson shared a very honest and personal glimpse of why she writes, but her reason isn’t mine. And I suspect most writers would have their own distinct reasons.

I ponder mine every so often, and come up with different answers each time. I’ve always preferred writing to talking. It’s easier for me to find words to put on a page than to find the right ones to say. I think words long deliberated and finally written help me to see and understand things better … people, situations, motivations, the visible and invisible parts of life.

Maybe that’s not so different from my reasons for liking to travel in our trailer. Daily life in a campsite is not the same as it is at home. I might still write while sitting in a recliner, but I get to see things from a fresh perspective.

What are your reasons for liking to read and/or write novels?


(P.S. No, I’m not going on a trailering vacation any time soon. All this rain is just making me wish summer would hurry up!)

~  ~  ~ 



Published by Carol

A freelance writer of fiction and non-fiction living on the West Coast of Canada.

12 thoughts on “Escaping the everyday in a book or a box

  1. Sorry about your rain. You’re welcome to send some of it to Central Kansas, USA. We’re still very dry, although we’ve had a little relief.

    Much of my traveling has been “arm-chair” travel – through books or magazines. My mother wanted to introduce me to camping, but with four children, I just couldn’t see having to do all the daily ordinaries without the appliances I had at home. She and Papa took my children, one or two at a time, on some of their jaunts. My explorations in roughing it have been running sock-footed through the carpets of the holiday high-life hotel, or staying in a furnished cabin in the mountains.

    Loved the peek into the fifth wheeler.

  2. I read to escape my extremely busy and sometimes stressful life. I write because I love to tell stories and share them. I love to talk to people and share experiences (got that from my dad) and so putting stories down on paper means I can share my stories with a wider audience. At least I think that is why I write, sometimes I question why I write.

  3. Love this post, Carol. I have a character who is a photographer and travels in a Winnebego three months at a time for her work. For me reading is and has always been more than just escape or entertainment. It’s everything. It’s the first way we learn about anything we want to do or be … and for a writer it is the most essential tool. Read as much as you can in as many different types and genres. Explore voice and style, learn about other times and find the cadence in each book.

    It is equal in importance to music and I can’t separate or define any of it worth a darn. What I can do is be a professional and serious writer who loves to read and listen to music and who relishes the process of learning so much, it ceases to be work and becomes a labor of love 🙂

  4. I think traveling in your “box” makes perfect sense…since I’ve been reading your blog you always come back with gorgeous photos and thought provoking posts:) It’s only been in recent years that I’ve started reading more novels – – I don’t know why I didn’t before. But I do love how it opens up my thoughts and exposes me to life and experiences I’ve never had… and maybe don’t even want to have. It gives me perspective.

  5. Thanks for stopping by to read and then share your feedback. I’ve continued to ponder my reasons for writing as well as reading. It’s more complex than it seems at first thought — not easy to pin down in a few words.

    1. That’s one of the things I enjoy most about camping… not having any home or church commitments or responsibilities staring me in the face, so that I can read and write without feeling the least bit guilty. 🙂

  6. I love reading because it takes me to different time periods and distant lands. My passion for writing novels grew out of my love for reading them. Storytelling is an excellent way to not only entertain, but give people an opportunity to think about major themes in that context.

    1. I’m told great writers have to be great readers so it makes perfect sense to me that your passion for reading would lead you into writing.

  7. I’m not filling your blog with my answers today only because I’d take up too much room. I’m not one for self-discovery, so I seldom enjoy questioning my reasons. What’s really strange is I just realized that now. I read the question and thought I can’t answer that. That made me ask why, and why made me realize I don’t enjoy delving into my pysche. Hmm. Learned something new about myself today, Carol. If you were close enough, I’d give you a big squeeze. Hope you have a wonderful trip.

    1. I’m not one for much introspection either, Joylene, so when I come up with such questions for this blog it makes me reach beyond my comfort zone to try and answer them. Glad it stimulated your brain cells, too. 😀

  8. I read at night before going to bed to relax me. However, some of my choices keep me awake at night because they bother me. Then there’s the book that I can’t stop reading and can’t turn off the light till after midnight. sigh…I began my writing career in a fifth wheel camper. In fact my office was the kitchen table. We lived full-time in the camper for over eight years. It was a special time in our lives. Now we have a 24′ fifth wheel we just take around the state camping with our grandsons. We planted roots about five years ago again buying a house, yard work, and housekeeping…ugh. Enjoyed your post. Happy camping!

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