I’ve had to admit that I’m exactly the sort of person who struggles to do anything without conducting research beforehand. I’m a bit like Hermione – furiously flicking through ‘Quidditch Through the Ages’ to prepare for her first broomstick lessons – sometimes the research just isn’t practical. But it’s often a lot of fun.
One of my favourite things to do when I’m bored is to jump onto a library database and type in random searches.*
Do dog’s go to heaven? Or are only particular dogs worthy to be beamed up?
What’s the difference between sociopaths and psychopaths? Am I one?
Is there any weight to alien conspiracy arguments?
Maybe I’m just a little insane but I’ve always enjoyed research. I think it’s to do with my natural instinct to want to know everything about everything. What I truly love about research is that it is almost a form of storytelling – except the storyteller is you. Every search brings another puzzle piece that fits neatly with the rest of the picture. When this happens, you can’t help but feel like you’ve discovered something incredible. You want to share your knowledge with the next unfortunate person who says hello. Other times what you dig up during your research turn out to be the corner piece for a whole other puzzle.
Sometimes I meet people who approach research with the idea that they will find The Answer. Not realising that although they’ve got an answer, it may be one of many. It’s a little intimidating but wonderful. Research isn’t static. It’s not something that can be easily nailed down to paper. Instead it’s fluid, contradictory, real, fake and at times extremely confusing.
But that’s what makes it so much fun.
* For those who haven’t figured it out yet; most libraries are free (most just ask you to become a member). Membership gets you access to all sorts of goodies from: music, movies, photographs, databases, journals, and of course books.