Discussion: If I Had a Time Machine

disussion on a bookish topic-01

Sometimes it’s nice to break out of the habit of writing super serious discussions (*insert stern librarian face here, complete with thick-rimmed glasses and a cardigan*) and write something different for a change — something that gets me out of the issues that surround books and into the other things I like, like the things that happen INSIDE the books I read.

In the past few years, I’ve read hundreds of books. Some of them have been very good and some of them have been cringe-worthy bad, but all of them have something in common, much like all pieces of literature — they all include some world created by the author.

These worlds can vary from being something similar to the world we live in now, or they can be so drastically different that we can only wonder what it would actually look like. Personally, there are worlds that I’ve read about that make me wonder if the author has diagrams upon diagrams showing the beauty or uniqueness of a certain place. I mean, it has to come from somewhere, right?

I got to thinking that out of all the worlds I’ve visited in books, there are some that I would LOVE to be able to visit. If I had a time machine built specifically for traveling from this world that I live in to a world inside a book, there are a few places I would program it to visit:

  1. Hogwarts. I mean, duh. It’s an obvious place to visit for any reader, with the magic wands, flying owls, the huge school where the staircases move, or forbidden magic happening in the muggle world, making family members expand like a balloon, ultimately floating off into the sky. It just all seems to magical and whimsical. And I’d really, really love a pet owl.
  2. Any steampunk world. I know there are bad things that can happen in steampunk, but to be able to wear the pretty Victorian dresses and work with fantastical machines that are just so much past that time period seems so cool to me. And I love aviator glasses and think I could only pull them off if I were in a steampunk novel.  
  3. Any roadtrip book. I have never been on a proper road trip, you know, with the awesome music, the great snacks, the wonderful company, and all of the unexpected twists and turns of just driving anywhere and stopping anywhere you want. I think it would be so cool and so many authors have put the bug in me to get in my car and just drive. Of course, I do most of that vicariously through books because I have no sense of direction, but if I were transported into a roadtrip book, I’m sure one would be granted to me.
  4. Aimee Carter’s world of the gods. I love, love, love the Goddess series and would love to go into that world to be surrounded by the gods, and maybe married to Henry. I think it would be so neat to see the gods, bigger than life and so powerful. Of course, in that same sense, I could probably also tolerate being transported into Jeaniene Frost’s world to be with Bones, but I’m sure Cat would kick my butt.

And, of course there are some worlds I would NOT want to visit: 

  1. The world inside of Crewel. Gennifer Albin created an amazingly unique place, but one that terrified me. I mean, to know that there is one person controlling absolutely everything that goes on in the world and can just take you out of the world when you are deemed a weak link is terrifying! And not only do they remove you, they remove memories from family members, too. They can completely relocate you to ANOTHER family, making your first family think that you never existed in the first place. 
  2. Anything inside Jon Klassen’s head. Jon Klassen is a genius. I love his picture books, but they can be quite twisted. I mean, both books end with someone getting eaten, which basically tells me that if I ever did anything wrong, I could get eaten by something that’s bigger than me. And these aren’t, like, taunting the bear in the woods kind of wrongs, but if I found a penny on the sidewalk and said, “Cool! This is my penny now!” I could be hunted down and eaten by the owner. Scary!
  3. Godspeed. In Beth Revis’s world on board the ship Godspeed, I would be completely fearful that I would lose any humanity i have and become an empty shell — someone who just does the thing they are supposed to do and nothing else. And the season? No thank you.
  4. Lauren Oliver’s Delirium world. Another world that is terrifying! I am a huge romantic and am always crying over love — good and bad — and look for the romance in EVERYTHING. To have that component completely removed from me would be horrible! I want to love, dammit!

I know there are so many other places I could talk about, so these are just a tasting of where I’d like to — and not like to — go inside of books. Now, you share the places you’d travel to!

If you had a time machine built for traveling inside books, what worlds would you visit? 



26 thoughts on “Discussion: If I Had a Time Machine

  1. Oh, I love exploring worlds through books but to actually be in one myself? Eek! Part of me would just want to visit all the places that already exist but that I’m too poor to visit (like Australia). If I had to think of book places though, I’d definitely say Hogwarts, and probably The Shire. I want to party with the hobbits.

  2. I’ve been dying to go to Hogwarts since I started reading Harry Potter like, 12 years ago. Thinking about it makes my heart happy. And road trips! I also have never been on a proper road trip. I’m very envious of my friend, who is writing a road trip novel. This summer, she is actually going on the road trip that her character is going on to gain some insight on place and inspiration. Too cool! I would not want to live in the world of Fahrenheit 451 where books are burned, or Weetzy Bat’s weird LA.

    • I always love road trip books … I think the research for them would be so much fun! Good luck to your friend! And I doubt anyone who reads Harry Potter wouldn’t want to go to Hogwarts. It would be very cool! And boo to burning books … I wouldn’t want to be in that world, either!

  3. I agree with Hogwarts (for obvious reasons) and with Asti’s comment on The Shire (partying with Merry and Pippin would be fun). But I also would love to explore Narnia and A Great and Terrible Beauty’s “Realm.”

  4. Who wouldn’t want to visit Hogwarts?! I love road trips in books and real life as well. Or any kind of traveling, I have a serious case of wanderlust 🙂
    I’d also love to see the real Pemberley or at least the film locations Lyme Park and Sudbury Hall.

  5. I would definitely have to agree when it comes to Hogwarts. Who wouldn’t want to visit that magical place? I would certainly not mind getting a few Quidditch lessons and hanging out with Harry, Hermione and Ron.

    I’d probably also want to visit the world of Tortall, just to meet all of (or most of) Tamora Pierce’s heroines. It’s a fantasy, medieval type kingdom where magic also exists, so that would be pretty interesting!

    Last, I’d probably go to Renaissance/Regency England – just to basically immerse myself in the world of my favorite historical romances.

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  8. Yes YES, love this discussion post topic because I am always pondering these types of things. The obvious answer for best place to visit would be Hogwarts for all the reasons you pointed out. And for worst – pretty much ANY dystopian world. I mean, they are pretty much by definition bad. The worst one that I can think of was the one in Dualed.

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  10. I really like how you included worlds you WOULDN’T want to visit. I’m currently reading 1984 and oh boy. No thank you. As for places I would want to visit, I totally agree with you on the steampunk. I love the amalgamation of old and new within steampunk. Not to mention road trips! I’d love to go on a Paper Towns-esque road trip, full of high stakes and camaraderie.

  11. Any steampunk world. I know there are bad things that can happen in steampunk, but to be able to wear the pretty Victorian dresses and work with fantastical machines that are just so much past that time period seems so cool to me. And I love aviator glasses and think I could only pull them off if I were in a steampunk novel.

    Girl, I am SO THERE. We’ll go! I want to rock those aviator glasses, too, and wear a beautiful dress. And invent things, or well, help people who invent things. GAH. Love steampunk!

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My home is where my books are. - Ellen Thompson

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