Why We Should Care About Fiction
Start writing a post

Why We Should Care About Fiction

And how it relates to the real world.

Why We Should Care About Fiction
A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one. - George R. R. Martin

I love reading.

To those of you who know me, this probably does not come as a surprise. Ever since I started memorizing the" Lil' Critter" book series by Mercer Mayer (which my parents repeatedly read aloud to me) I began devouring all the books I could get my hands on.

Going to the public library was my idea of a good time, and I was always thrilled by the latest arrival of the Scholastic book order catalog when I was in grade school. The accumulation of AR (accelerated reader) points in grades three through five was an added bonus to the past time I would have gladly participated in anyways.

During the past couple of years, I have been busier, or at least more distracted than I was in my younger (idyllic, I like to say) years. The causes for this are another story entirely. Something else I have noticed is that I'm reading less fiction than I used to. For example, I'm currently reading "Creativity, Inc" (about Pixar's rise to prominence) and just finished "Love Does" by Bob Goff.

These non-fiction writings have contained wise and inspiring words, and I have enjoyed them. However, I have come a long way from the diet of pure fiction I used to consume. I'd say it's 50/50 now, depending on whether I'm at home (fiction) or school (non-fiction).

Ok, you now have some background information. The main part of this article will be about the myriad benefits of reading literary fiction.

While non-fiction may be directly about real life events or issues, fiction (well-written, quality fiction) often more accurately portrays the emotions, personal interactions, struggles, and joys of life. Characters can be multi-dimensional, developing and changing as the story is fleshed out.

They must face all the trials we go through and sometimes on a grander scale, depending on the plot and setting of their story. Reading books with authentic characterization can grow the reader's understanding of people as well as their sense of empathy. Seeing through the eyes of various characters of different backgrounds can help one do the same in real life.

I've been out of the country several times, but never out of North and Central America. There are many cultures and peoples which I have yet to meet. Even I, a huge proponent of fiction, cannot claim that books get close to taking the place of actual experiences. However, authors do often base fictional races on real world cultures (See "Ranger's Apprentice" and "The Stormlight Archive").

They visit the area, meet the inhabitants, write pages of notes and get a feel for both the place and the people. This information is inserted into the story and allows readers to holistically experience another culture (at least more so than, say, a travel guide could). Also pertaining to people groups in the world are the preconceived notions and prejudices about them. Literary fiction does not exclude issues of prejudice and takes readers directly into the lives (and minds) of those suffering (See "To Kill a Mockingbird").

Fiction can be an escape. Yes, a gloriously vivid, exciting escape. Yet to be completely, utterly absorbed within a fictional world shouldn't be anyone's goal. Rather, the goal should be to enjoy fiction and then take its benefits back to the real world of real people. After all, they're the major characters in your story.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series


Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?


Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less

14 Last Minute Valentine's Day Gifts Your S.O. Will Love

If they love you, they're not going to care if you didn't get them some expensive diamond necklace or Rolex watch; they just want you.


Let me preface this by saying I am not a bad girlfriend.

I am simply a forgetful one.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

10 Helpful Tips For College Students Taking Online Courses This Semester

Here are several ways to easily pass an online course.

Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels

With spring semester starting, many college students are looking to take courses for the semester. With the pandemic still ongoing, many students are likely looking for the option to take online courses.

Online courses at one time may have seemed like a last minute option for many students, but with the pandemic, they have become more necessary. Online courses can be very different from taking an on-campus course. You may be wondering what the best way to successfully complete an online course is. So, here are 10 helpful tips for any student who is planning on taking online courses this semester!

Keep Reading... Show less

Take A Look At The Extravagant Lane Woods Jewelry Collection For Valentine's Gift Ideas

So if you are currently looking to purchase jewelry for yourself or as a romantic gift for your S.O., you should definitely look at the marvelous and ornately designed Lane Woods Jewelry collection


Just like diamonds are a girl's best friend, so are pearls, rubies, gold, emeralds, and any type of luxurious jewelry you can get your hands on! A woman is incomplete without a piece of jewelry on her and it is a gorgeous accessory required for all occasions. So if you are currently looking to purchase jewelry for yourself or as a romantic gift for your S.O., you should definitely look at the marvelous and ornately designed Lane Woods Jewelry collection.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments