Which book world would you like to inhabit? The author of this post writes about five book worlds he’d like to live in.
It’s cold as I’m writing this in South Africa and I find myself wishing I were elsewhere.
But, where? Not anywhere on earth or, at least, not this one.
The best worlds are places you can see yourself living comfortably in. Or doing something enjoyable in.
This is not a list of the best worlds in fiction but just places I’d rather be than where I am. I would really like to know in which fictional place you would rather be.
5 Book Worlds I’d Like To Live In
5. Stardust by Neil Gaiman
This little book revolves around an English country town, “Wall”. It is set in a time before excessive learning and technology was forced upon us.
Wall is what everyone thinks of when you think of the word “nice”. You could live a happy rural existence there, without ever having to go to fanciful, faraway places like London.
Conveniently, there is a wall in Wall and there is a hole in the wall that is in Wall. This hole leads to a magical world of adventure. Through it, a normal farmhand living in a small cottage can escape and maybe rescue a fallen star that becomes a beautiful woman.
What I like about Stardust is how light-hearted the world feels. It should feel dark and scary at times because very bad things happen, but it has such a magical, comfortable narrative you always know things are going to work out for the best in the end.
4. The Hobbit (but not The Lord of the Rings) by J. R. R. Tolkien
The Hobbit, Mr Bilbo Baggins, lives in a hole in the ground…
But, really he lives in a well-situated house built into a hill in the most beautiful and peaceful countryside.
Hobbits like to eat, drink, and sing silly songs. They live very long lives and remain youthful well into their 50s and 60s.
There may not be much in the way of nightlife, but wandering magicians and dwarves come through town offering adventure and rewards.
But, above everything else Hobbits eat six full meals a day and this doesn’t kill them. Who wouldn’t want that sort of life?
3. The Redemption of Althalus by David Eddings and Leigh Eddings
This is not a comfortable world, and, I guess I would want to be the title character more than just live in the world.
Althalus, a thief, catches the eye of a goddess who wants to get to know him better, nudge nudge say no more. So she puts him through hundreds of years of ordeals in what must be one of the slowest-moving love stories ever written.
What I like about this book is that it seems as if you really could have a god or goddess looking over your shoulder, keeping you both entertained. While they might not quite keep you out of danger, they at least stack the decks of fate in your favour.
You would get to live through all the interesting periods of David Eddings’ world. You would meet interesting people, lead them into battles to save the world, and you’d get a magic talking cat!
Really, I just want a talking cat.
Bored of life? Why not just get another one?
In the city, people live for 10 000 years in perfect health. And when they are tired of life, they get absorbed back into the core of the city where their favourite memories are stored until it’s time for them to live again. Then, they slowly regain their most precious memories and meet old friends again for the first time.
Life is also perfect. People are always healthy. They are waited on hand and food by machines. They are free to live any life they want for as long as they feel like doing so. Want to spend a thousand years painting? Go ahead. This is basically heaven.
The only problem is that some little bugger with no past memories is going around the city ruining things for everyone. But, if you are lucky, you can just ignore the plot.
1. Making Money by Terry Pratchett
Life is hard in Anhk-Morpork. It is either too cold or too hot or on fire. But, Lord Vetinari is making it a better city one raised eyebrow at a time.
The conceit of Making Money is that a large company is putting a much better one out of business just so they can sell it off cheaply and buy it for a song.
The difference is that, in a Terry Pratchett book, the bad guys eventually get what’s coming to them.
It would be cathartic to work for the city and see every day the work you are doing is making the world a little bit better. And, maybe making you a little better too.
If that is not enough, you get to live in a city with a magic university; where dwarves and dozens of other species go about their lives in the most interesting of normal ways; where a dragon could invade and can then be reasoned with; and where you get a chance to ask Death ‘what now?’ when all is said and done.
More than anything, I’d like to spend some time in the Unseen Universitys’ Library where every book that has been, and will be, and would have ever been written exists – if you know where to look.
Where Would You Like To Live?
I hope this gave you a fun look into some books I would like to live in. Share your choices in the comments section below.
Christopher writes and facilitates for Writers Write. Follow him on Twitter: @ChrisLukeDean
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