Why Is Fiction Important?

Self-help books are very popular right now. Intellectuals pride themselves in reading a broad range of nonfiction books (Which is a good thing, too). But what about novels?

People will always be connected to stories, regardless of the form they come in. They can entertain, inspire, or teach us important lessons. Fiction has a lot to offer the world.

Why is fiction an amazing thing? Let me tell you my reasons. πŸ™‚

Empathy. Reading a book puts you in the head of someone else, or it gives you an intimate view of different character’s perspectives. It makes you care about people you’ve never met and want to know what happens next. It can put you in someone else’s shoes, allowing you to empathize with their situation. They can do nothing for you, but you still hope the best for them. Reading fiction can make you a kinder person.

Life lessons. Books can teach us many lessons through the art of story telling. Reading can give you a great opportunity to reflect or determine what you might have done had you been in the character’s situation. Sometimes the lessons in books are loud and clear, while others slowly reveal themselves as the story unravels, surprising you. I love when that happens.

World Changing. Some books have been known to change the world, or rather, have helped shape society in the era they were written in. Uncle Tom’s Cabin, for example, was an anti-slavery novel written by Harriett Beecher prior to the Civil War. It is said that it helped lay the framework of the Civil War and abolishing slavery. Black Beauty, a book written by Anna Sewell, outlines the plight of horses and how badly some of them were treated in the 1800’s. I’m sure you can think of other books that helped change the world by starting new movements. Fiction is indeed a powerful thing!

Enrichment. There’s nothing quite like curling up with a good book or reading a story on the beach. Escaping to a different world can be an enriching experience. You can learn so much from stories.

Why do you enjoy reading stories? Do tell. πŸ™‚

25 comments

  1. I push the empathy one. I write a main character with a chronic disease/disability, and hope to reach beyond the story into the place where humans need to live a life to really understand what it’s like.

    BEFORE someone gets something like Long covid – it might make them a lot more careful.

    Also because I haven’t seen it done much or well – and there are many of us. Did you know you are five times more likely to become disabled during your working years than to die? And yet how many have life insurance – and no disability insurance?

    Maybe someone will become a better friend if I touch their heart. Or spouse. Or remember to call mom.

    Once a reader becomes disabled or ill, warnings are too late – then the part about how you live in spite of it becomes even more important.

    Fiction is almost better than experience – you get some warning, and a chance to change. If you’ll take it.

  2. I mostly read fiction to get an escape from the regular boring life.πŸ˜„

    Good article. It was nice to read.

  3. All of the above, but especially Life Lessons. I find I can learn something valuable from at least one character in the books I read. For instance, I learned how to have a strong work ethic without getting stressed out about it from Mr. Yoshioka in Dean Koontz “The City.”

  4. For me, it deepens the feeling one has for the psychology of others. (Depending on the skill of the author, of course.) It can give insight into motivation, and also into human destiny. All of this acts as a vital counterbalance to the overly informational quality of thinking we are assaulted with by on-fiction, news, and the web.

  5. I really enjoy and appreciate this post. Humans have always been story tellers. It’s an important part of how we learn. We’re wired that way.

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