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Autumn is a great time to fall in love- with reading

I have absolutely no evidence to support this statement but I do think it is a truism that as the season approaches our interest in reading grows.

Autumn is my favourite season and is filled with symbolic meanings.

Change; the weather changes and in our hemisphere, temperatures begin to fall. We tend to savour what we have had before it is gone.

Mystery; the chemistry that turns trees and plants golden, red and yellow can be a magnificent sight. The crisp air and falling leaves personify the unknown. Once we accept those unknowns, we have more capacity to live life to the fullest.

Preservation; the harvest comes in and is stored to take us through winter months. Jams, pickles and preserves, their smells can transport us back to yesteryear. Autumn offers us a chance to reconnect with ourselves as we preserve our safe havens.

Protection; as summer morphs into autumn, we exercise self-protection by wearing layers and thicker fabrics. We also tend to focus on our health by boosting our immunity through habits and nutrition.

Reflection; autumn makes us reflective of warmer days but often heightens our awareness of self and surroundings.

Comfort; autumn is prime time for seeking comfort in the midst of dropping temperatures. Creating a peaceful and snug space is one of the best perks of autumn. It also gives us a chance to learn about what makes us feel warm and safe.

As a writer, it is my job to evoke emotion in my readers. I want them to be invested in my characters, to care what happens in the story and maybe even feel some of what my characters feel.

The symbolic meanings linked to autumn are a reflection of what I want to create with my storytelling.

Change needs to be shown in the character arcs that I write. No one will have empathy with a character who learns nothing through a series of life events or is unwilling to change.

Mystery is what keeps a reader coming back for more; to find out what happens in the end.

Preservation is key, not just to your hero in a book but to ensure that good is preserved and evil banished.

Protection is enjoyed by the reader who can enjoy the thrills and dangers in a story in a completely safe environment.

Reflection is how I hold up a mirror for readers who may see elements of their lives in the stories that I write.

Comfort is that fabulous feeling of curling up in your favourite chair with a cuppa and a good book and losing yourself in a story that has no responsibilities or consequences for the reader. Escapism in its truest form.

If readers are susceptible to these symbolic characteristics of autumn then it is obvious why they might fall in love with reading at this time of the year. Any book that can make you feel all those things without moving from your home is as seductive as Mr Darcy, as exciting as Lara Croft, as intelligent as Miss Marple and as enjoyable as toffee apples on bonfire night.




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