What were you doing when you heard that Ray Bradbury had died?

I found out in a Skype chat. As a few of us worked through an under-performing presell campaign for another member of the group, it was dropped in.

I’m being a bit dramatic here. I’ve only read a couple of his books, and though they were good he wasn’t in my top 5 authors.

(Yes, I have a top 5. And so should you.)

But I’ve got to admit, the guy knew how to tell a powerful story. Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles are going to be remembered for an age, because he could tell a story that sticks with you.

People see the world through stories, and Bradbury understood that. Through stories we form our opinions, choose our politics, fall in love, and work out who we are.

And this isn’t a flaw. We need stories. The world’s far too confusing to understand without them.

There’s a flip side to this, of course. The stories we’re told shape how we see the world, and the stories we tell shape how the world sees us.

Whatever you do, you need a story. But for now, take some of Bradbury’s best advice – turn off your computer and go read a book.