Book Snobbery, Fairy Tales and Reality

Book Snobbery, Fairy Tales and Reality





“The way to read a fairy tale is to throw yourself in.” ― W.H. Auden

“In a utilitarian age, of all other times, it is a matter of grave importance that fairy tales should be respected.” (Frauds on the Fairies, 1853)” ― Charles Dickens, Works of Charles Dickens

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” ― Albert Einstein


I was “that child”, the one who wanted fairy tales and magic to be real. As far back as I can remember I dreamed about having supernatural powers (always good of course…well, almost always) having carpets that flew, potions that could transform anyone or anything, the ability to speak to animals. I never understood why Darren and Samantha worked so hard at concealment. Or why Jeannie didn’t dump the Major and go back to live with the Djinn….I mean, LOOK at the decor!!!! Who wouldn’t rather have scarves and pillows and elaborate brass lamps instead of that godawful avocado and mustard vibe?

Music for a fairy tale. Click me.

Music for  fairy tales. Click me.

Books fueled this. Small witches, talking mice, flying nannies, rings and boxes and mysterious rooms and islands all combined in a grand and glorious stew. Why couldn’t I have a wizard for a teacher? (maybe I would have learned math) Why couldn’t bullies simply be turned into flowerpots? Alas, eventually the adulting creeps in. And people stop being indulgent about your whimsy. And your imagination….

You stop inviting your friends over to play make believe. Or, at least, they stop accepting. And you are encouraged to put away childish things. To accumulate the right kind of books….improving books. High tone books. Books with Purpose. The wishing frogs and tall towers and magic mirrors are packed away… Book Snobbery. Where Fantasy books in the annoying “Y.A.” category are barely tolerated. Stuff and Nonsense.(keeping it G rated here. I expect points…) Children should be encouraged to read whatever they reading-on-the-buswant and adults should enjoy the same free pass. You should be proud of displaying your book on the bus whether you are reading Kafka or Twilight. There are life lessons to be found in fantasy. Fairy tales teach you that sometimes bad things do happen. (The original version of some of the most beloved and well known can be a bit brutal.

For example, the Ugly Stepsisters in Cinderella actually cut their toes off to fit into the slipper. Kiddiewinkle Disney this ain’t.. ) But good and kind usually triumph. Sometimes help can come from unexpected areas. And there is always a way out of the woods. I do live in the real world. Drive. Work. Pay taxes. Cook, clean, shop. Watch the political situation (although “real” and politics lately….never mind) When I sit at a stop light I do not think a gnome is changing the colors. I rarely look for dragons. But I still yearn for them. Magic is everywhere and everything. It may not have glittery wings, it may not be vanquished with a sword, there might not be a house dropped on it or a incantation spoken…..but it is here.

Writers poets, artists, storytellers; all know this on some level. Even if we disguise it.The human imagination is ancient. The roots of stories are found far back in oral traditions and the tales were only modified later to make them illustrations of good versus evil. We do research, we discuss, we delve and write learned papers. We collect quotes and materials, and most importantly buy the books buy the books buy the books…. Books are the real magic. The tangible, in your hands, in your face, take you wherever you want to go – Magic. Read it. Whatever the cover, whatever the rating.

If you like it, read it. Do not let any house of cards pompous proclamation tell you it’s wrong. Secretly we are looking for the elves. We want there to be fairies in the garden. We never see a shooting star without wishing. And if you are very, very lucky. You will never lose that. For the Silo, Jaye Tomas.


Engaging thousands online since Spring 2010 – influencing others by learning about ourselves – Lifestyle, Culture, Sci-Tech. Read outside the box.

About chimerapoet

I write. I write a lot. A. LOT. There are times I am half blind with a sentence ricocheting off the walls of my stupid, cant be shut off to save my life, brain. I am miserable until I get it down on paper. Punch it up a bit. Usually cross out half of it. And then breathe. Relax. Only to do it all again..... But I just thought that was me. How I am. Not a writer....noooo...not me. Writers are.....writing people. People Who Write. REALLY write. Write things that matter. All grown up very important things. I am just a scribbler of sorts. And I was/am content with that....if it's true, well then....a scribbler am I. Until the thought wormed its way in to my brain (the furtive sneaky bitch) that maybe...just maybe...that is writing. My style. My strange way. But....still writing. So here I am at the dance. Not sure I know any of the moves and the music is entirely mine. But.....only one way to find out. Would you care to join me?
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2 Responses to Book Snobbery, Fairy Tales and Reality

  1. jiniellyne says:

    Yes! This is important, serious stuff. Just because it’s fantasy doesn’t mean it’s not serious and real in some otherworld sense. I was particularly impressed by what you quoted Albert Einstein as saying. It’s true. Not to brag but tests have shown me to be highly intelligent and my parents and my aunt read me lots of fairy tales. If you don’t want to be judged for reading fantasy novels on the bus or subway, buy Ebooks. I can recommend some good ones, written recently and selling for cheap or even free.

  2. ailsacawley says:

    Excellent article Jaye. I think we all believe in magic, it’s whether you admit it or not ❤️

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