Once upon a time, when the world and I were both young, I loved fairy tales—right up to the ending. The truth is that I was disappointed in the inevitable happy ever after (HEA) endings. They suggested that characters I had enjoyed watching grow, rising to meet challenges, suddenly went into stasis as if now that the story was over, they would shut their brains down.
I didn’t like the idea. I thought my fictional friends were better than that.
I'll admit that books have been one of my favourite escape routes for most of my life. A good story takes us to new places and lets us experience things otherwise difficult, impossible or simply that would be more dangerous than we are willing to risk. Through books, we can play out any number of what if scenarios.