After a raid of my cousin’s house this past weekend, I was gladly surprised to find a literary armory. I was like a child in a sweets store. I wanted everything. But I had to leave some books; they were just too heavy. I am glad to state that I got a full collection of the Chronicles of Narnia! Hurray!
I am reading the very first book and a logical (read boring adult) side of me was thinking ‘come on!’ I don’t even understand why that happened, I love C.S. Lewis. I love the Chronicles of Narnia but for some reason the boring adult side of me needed something rational. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Magician’s Nephew is a children’s publication and an entry into a magical world using rings with the ability to pull an individual across different realms and worlds; does sound ridiculous in the logical sense. It is like the Matrix only that Morpheus is your evil Uncle Andrew who really doesn’t give you a choice of pills. But pretty much uses trickery and you end up with a yellow and green ring trying to save yourself and a playmate from a weird realm.
In its essence you have to state that C.S. Lewis in the Chronicles of Narnia was either smoking something free, it had to be cheaper than cheap. Either that or, he had a brilliant imagination. I believe it was the latter.
My reading pace is painfully slow; the king of the snails spoke to me about it. But I came up with a formula to stay reading to boost my creative juices even if it is snail approved speeds. I decided to start reading children and teen books. I kicked off with the renowned British actor and author David Walliams. His book Gangsta Granny, is a hilarious read. In short it is about an 11 year old who attempts to steal the crown jewels with his Grandmother. It is an adventure and simply imaginative. Normal scenario – simple twist – great story, it is one of those stories you won’t find yourself thinking ‘that was unrealistic’.
My general theory is that as we grow older and are bombarded with life our imaginative IQ drops drastically. I am still working on the formula for calculation; the furthest I have gone thus far is this.
Number of children’s fiction books read recently divided by the reader’s Chronological age multiplied by 100 will produce your Imagination Quotient. What I would call your IMQ.
No. of Children’s fiction Books ÷ Reader’s chronological age × 100 = IMQ
So if you are – say – 30 years old and have only read 1 book, your IMQ will be 3,000. The higher the figure the lower your IMQ; the stuffier a reader you are. This is science and math; you didn’t really expect me to come up with something superbly calculable did you? I like that, you are imagining! That was the point!
I believe that by reading stories like The CHRONICLES of NARNIA: The Magician’s Nephew, you are more likely to open yourself up to new possibilities. That is what imagination is all about. It is about making the impossible real. Yes, you are not likely to bring a witch to earth to conquer the world all the way from an older staler smelling world called Charn. But it is always a good feeling to have grey areas, the ‘what ifs’ we tend to ask about.
I believe that in the stuffy conflict ridden world that we live in it is always nice to remind ourselves of colourful and hilarious possibilities of our existence. I know some may say that fiction novels as a genre offer that. But for novels, especially teen and children’s books there is a level of imagination in its purest form that us, stuffy adults, need to read to win back our souls. And bring some flair back in to our stuffy deadline driven adult lives.
First published on http://blog.storymojafestival.com