Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Escaping into Books

An Evolving Blog-Conversation . . .

Books inside you I first announced I’d be trying to stimulate Conversations on this blog back on February 12th

Two readers actually made comments that led to my post on Feb. 14th

This was followed by a response to one commenter on the 19th

And, because of that same commenter, I was able to respond, carrying the conversation further on the 21st

I should mention to readers just arriving here that these conversational blog posts are on Mondays and Wednesdays (and, in around 17 weeks, also on Fridays...).

I reblog on the other days; but, if the conversational format keeps working, we could have them more often…

And, as I indicated, something else happens here on Fridays, for awhile yet—the Story Bazaar

So… Books inside you

There was a comment on that post on the 21st—it relates to the post’s title—Escaping with Books ~ or ~ Escaping into Books—and, here’s that comment:

“In the title of this post the first, intransitive, use of the verb ‘escaping’ means the narrator is escaping from some unnamed threat and is taking the books with them. The second use of the verb ‘escaping’ is transitive so the books then become the object of the sentence and the narrator is actually going into the books to escape from the horrors of the world? Feel free to argue with me. I just felt my brain implode, rofl.”

There’s no way I’ll argue with this reader…

First, I’m old; and, when I was in high school, we learned to diagram sentences—an aid to understanding grammar and syntax…

However, in spite of that learning aid (which I haven’t used in many decades…), my overriding education in those structural elements of language came from omnivorous Reading

And, during the last 7 years of publishing this blog, my research has stumbled over plenty of articles that, for me, seem heavy-handed about what is “Correct” writing…

I write From my vast reading’s “memory” of structure; and, I write To the sound of the sentences…

So, transitive and intransitive can keep their names and I’ll happily comment on that reader’s Interpretation of the two halves of that post’s title…

Escaping with Books = “…taking the books with them.”

Escaping into Books = “…actually going into the books to escape…”

I agree, in principle, with both interpretations.

I do, however, see another interpretation for Escaping with Books:

Perhaps it can mean not only physically carrying a book in one’s escape but also carrying what the book, as a whole, Means to the reader…

I know the books I’ve read with great interest and identification, especially those I’ve read a number of times, are always With me; and, they definitely help me when I need to Escape from the pressure of today’s cultural idiocies—escape while I’m in the very midst of those idiocies


Still in a frame of mind that won’t argue with my reader’s interpretation of “Escaping with Books ~ or ~ Escaping into Books”, I could pose this idea:

Reading, with concentration and empathy, will help you escape into books as well as escaping with books—you can live inside the book; and, you can internalize the book’s world to help shield you from
“The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune…


If I’ve made any sense for you in this post, I welcome Your comments, so I can continue down the road of this blog’s conversational trail………
If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
Visit The Story Bazaar
Best Source for “Book Promotion” Ideas
~ My Bio
Google Author Page
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Escaping with Books ~ or ~ Escaping into Books

Dichotomy Welcome to the ongoing Conversation

The alternative in the title of this post may not seem as dichotomous as some would demand; but it’s subtle for a reason…

And because a tactic I used yesterday seemed well-received, I’ll share the etymology of dichotomy:

c. 1600, from Greek dichotomia “a cutting in half,” from dicha “in two, asunder” (related to dis“twice,” from PIE root *dwo- “two”) + temnein “to cut” (from PIE root *tem- “to cut”).

And, here’s the definition from the OED:

A division or contrast between two things that are or are represented as being opposed or entirely different

Which brings up the question of whether cutting something in half actually creates two oppositional things…

What if the original is not made of two distinct patterns or has an only gradually changing pattern?

And, even though yesterday’s post wasn’t an “official” part of our Monday/Wednesday Conversation, I’m moved to quote this excerpt:

“Did you know that the makers of dictionaries put words and their definitions in their books when they show a marked usage by the “educated” public….Sure, someone can bring up the argument that language responds to culture and changes with the times…”

So, yes, it appears dichotomy has had its meaning altered over time; but, does that mean the lexicographical police will hound us if we use the original meaning?

Still, folks who are immersed in the current culture may misunderstand…

So, my secondary purpose in this post is to attempt to “model” a non-cultural use of words…

And, perhaps, if I’m not part of the “‘educated’ public”, I don’t have to care a whit…

I realize I’m bending a lot of usage and meaning conventions in this post (and, perhaps, using way too many “s); but, if you were nearly 72 and had been bashed continually by a culture that seems bent on turning its communications into false shadows of purposeful meaning, you, too, might “contort” what is considered “politically correct”…

God forbid we should attempt to maintain a working respect for language, eh?

So… mini-rant finished.

There was a comment on Monday’s post that said:

“Well I like the idea of reading another book, but perhaps it is easier to pick up a new book than a new life? I used to use books as an escape when I was a child. I think I actually wanted a new life….”

which was responding to something I’d said in that post:

…a book we don’t like can be put down and a life course can be abandoned…Perhaps, the best advice, at times, is to find a book you like better—re-write your future with fresh plans…



We’re back to the “dichotomy” of the title:

Escaping with Books ~ or ~ Escaping into Books

Anyone care to give what they think the difference in that dichotomy is according to it’s etymology rather than it’s current definition?

I have a bunch of gold stars for anyone brave enough to continue the conversation in the comments :-)
If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
Visit The Story Bazaar
Best Source for “Book Promotion” Ideas
~ My Bio
Google Author Page
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

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