Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Is Reading Fiction Mere Entertainment?

Books provide us with an escape from the hardships of our time. They take us to places that we may never go. They not only increase vocabulary, creative thinking and morals, but they also give us new ideas to use in our lives. Simon Lake who is the father of modern submarines actually got the idea from a work of fiction called Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Can you believe that? 

Without fiction books, where would we be? Quoting George Martin: 
"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads, lives only one."

Those who read fiction are capable of empathy, and develop the ability to frame opinions, beliefs and interests apart from their own. They have access to hundreds of souls, and the collected wisdom of all them. They have seen things others would never understand, and have experienced instances that others would never know. They will learn not just what it is to be like themselves, but also what it is to be like someone else. They are wise beyond their years. And, the light of experience shines from such little experience.

Fiction also allows you the ability to "think outside the box" and teaches readers to have an open mind and gives us the ability to imagine things we never thought possible. Imagining something that doesn't exist allows you to imagine how things would be if it was possible, think of ways to make it possible, and  inspire you to create and find solutions.

Fiction is a very large genre of books, and not all qualify as fantasy or science fiction.

A fictional book can have a large amount of facts interspersed with fictional characters, or thoughts or ideals, allowing us to fill in the gaps of historical reference with possibilities that could have actually occurred. Fiction gives an important link of connection to our everyday life in trying to understand and see from the perspective of others. 

The ability to "put yourself in someone else's shoes" is an ability so many are severely lacking in. Fiction allows us to hear a person's unsaid secrets and, while being immersed in their world, become a part of their progression in life. Fiction gives readers the ability to escape, and set the reset button in how the world is viewed. Every new book is from a different perspective of a different character, and the substance viewed changes with changing perspectives. There is a balance. 

Whatever the rival claims on our leisure, we still find time for a good novel. Fiction may undergo some changes with the years, but in some form or the other it is likely to remain one of our chief sources of pleasure and learning.

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