When I was young, maybe around 13 years old, I read a fantasy novel by Raymond Feist called Magician. I enjoyed reading since I was young, but I lived in a house where the TV was always on and I was easily distracted. On this occasion, I was reading on my bed in my quiet bedroom. The scene was some kind of chase, in which the main character is running away from something (maybe some monsters?), and he looks totally defeated. But suddenly, the hero’s emotions produce some kind of magic effect and he defeats whatever it was that was chasing him.

The reason the moment stands out is that it was the first time I remember getting totally absorbed in a book. As I was reading, I lost track of the fact that I was reading and seemed to experience the words on the page almost a events I was living through. I remember that when I put down the book, I suddenly became aware that I’d lost track of time, of turning the pages, of the entire situation I was in. Only later when I heard of the idea of getting absorbed in a novel did I recognize that, yes, I’ve had that experience.

– Kevin Spencer (PhD student in English at Duke University)