Deep fiction reading allows you to slowly create a world in your mind, feel its sensory details and understand the moral and emotional value each of the characters is experiencing.
Where it is assumed that nonfiction books are your only ladder to success, I’m here to flip open your prescriptive box and change the way you view books altogether.
So, is reading fiction a waste of time?
Reading fiction is valuable for everyone. It has proven to open up your strings of imagination and broaden the way you look at the world. Fiction has the power to help you experience and grow with each book and thus improve your situations.
That said, you can never count the benefits fiction bestows upon us until you actually start reading it and seeing the change in your life. Here are 7 legit reasons why reading fiction isn’t a waste of time.
What's Included in This Post
1. Improves Imagination and Creativity
How awesome it could be in this short life you get to experience the lives of a thousand more characters.
Be it conquering the world like Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones or being brave like Harry Potter; you get to experience it all!
Fiction allows you to look at the world in a way that has never been seen before. How do you think revolutionary entrepreneurs change the world? How did Elon Musk come up with SpaceX?
In fact, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX has stated that he does 3 hours of active fiction reading every day.
Think of it in this way: If you’re reading a book where you’re 15 years ahead of time, that’s when the book broadens your imagination and helps you see the true potential you have within your creativity.
Other than that, the twists, happiness, sadness, and thrill are all a part of boosting your brain’s functionality to push it out of its comfort zone. According to research done at Washington University, by experiencing fictional characters’ lives, our brains are likely to create graphic mental simulations, sounds, and movements that improve our understanding of problems and conflicts.
2. Inspires us to Do Better in Life
There are a few intangible aspects that help you excel in your personal life and professional. Often employers want their employees to have:
- Good etiquettes
- Problem-solving skills
- A vision for the future of the company
Where reading nonfiction can help develop practical things to incorporate in your personal and professional life, fiction makes sure to dig deep down and set its emotional values inside your brain.
When we read fiction, our brains’ cognitive muscles sharpen, which improves personality and characteristics and develops unique qualities that you never knew you could be capable of.
Take, for example, bravery or the ability to speak up for yourself.
If you lack these essential traits, I’m sure you’ve had a hard time your entire life. Now, picture yourself in powerful characters who are bluntly doing the right things, and experiencing a life of a confident person, you can inevitably become one.
This way, you easily tackle your personality flaws to become the best version of yourself. And not to forget, developing your emotional quotient (EQ) is more likely to work by reading fiction than nonfiction books.
3. Have Empathy Towards Others
You experience different people in every turn of life.
A bossy CEO of the company you work for, an overly social spouse, or perhaps a depressed friend who doesn’t like to take any help.
By reading fiction books, you get to see inside the minds of such people and truly understand their intentions, which, in turn, will help you approach them better and connect on a deeper level.
Numerous studies have shown that reading fiction books help you put yourself in others’ shoes and engage with the characters’ longings and frustration, which forces your brain to fill in the gaps in your life and solve problems.
4. Helps to Sleep Better
Reading fiction can be a great way to escape the busy and hectic life to engross in a life full of butterflies truly. In fact, it is proven that reading for only 6 minutes a day can help put your mind at ease and relax the tensed muscles in your body.
When you’re in this state of peace, it makes it easier to have a child-like sleep.
Setting up a ritual to read a few pages of a fiction book can completely shut off the swarming thoughts in your mind so you can indulge in the magic of the fictional world. Many people have raved about reading a fictional book after an evening workout.
It helps to kill the day’s negative energy and helps you wake up afresh to start your new day with new opportunities and challenges to conquer.
5. Enhances Vocabulary
If you think you’ve been fueling up your vocabulary by watching a few Netflix series, wait till you find out how much you improve by reading a few pages of a fiction book a day.
It is true that reading books, in general, can increase vocabulary. But what elevates its effects is when you indulge yourself in a world that describes emotions and situations you wouldn’t have been able to express before.
By reading a fiction book per week, you will start to see a drastic change in how you form sentences and speak your mind. Indeed, learning from books doesn’t necessarily have to revolve around improving grammar (which is still a plus, though). People with improved vocabulary are likely to be perceived as smart and knowledgeable.
That’s not it; advanced vocabulary has the potential to help you think of ways outside the box and form your sentences properly.
This can, then, help express your ideas, feelings and engaging with other people. Enhancing your vocabulary every day can also force your brain to workout and improve your overall memory.
If we specifically talk about professional life, fiction has spread its goodness there as well. Exposing yourself to a wide variety of vocabulary can enhance your poetry and writing skills. Nowadays, the way marketing and copywriting work are clearly different from how we used to do it before.
You could state a few perks and features and get overflowing leads coming into your company. However, modern-day marketing techniques are nowhere close to this. Stating the same features and perks are now perceived as uptight.
Therefore, you must always add a flair of creativity and personal touch to every copy you write. Here, the use of sensory details and showing empathy to others can play a major role.
6. Improves Relationships
The improvement is mainly the result of other benefits that I mentioned in this post. By understanding people and expressing complex feelings, you can build better relationships with the people you love the most.
This is because fiction books help you see the reality and fear that not everything goes smoothly in life.
Be it bounding with difficult teenagers, colleagues or spouses, by reading fiction you can experience the world from the eyes of different age groups, gender and personality types. This can work better if you and your friends/family start reading the same fiction books together.
It can add a challenging thrill to the overall experience, and you can later talk about the book for hours, which inevitably improves relationships with people.
If you want to go the extra mile, you can create a group chat with fiction enthusiasts and exchange reviews and stories with one another.
7. Helps you Find Yourself
It is not surprising that we tend to lose ourselves among the perspectives and convictions of others. And to be honest, it’s not really your fault.
Which other ways are possible to look at the world, right? We all think that until we pick up the first fiction book to read.
By seeing how different people from all of the world (or universe, if we are talking about fiction here), you get to view things differently and form your own perspective.
This also gives you the confidence to stand against your convictions and think outside the box. This can be one of the greatest ways to break the stereotypes and emerge with your own definitions to live life on your own terms.
Just like how characters from different novels perceive risk and solve complex problems by being true to themselves, you automatically develop a personality that looks at obstacles from unique perspectives and rise above challenges.
By doing this, you’re more likely to be seen as social and attractive, which can improve your overall self-esteem. However, where there are numerous fiction benefits, non-fiction books can always go hand-in-hand to yield utmost self-improvement. You can depend on fiction to shape your conscience and then follow the techniques and methods used by successful people in non-fiction books to implement the knowledge into action.
So, are you convinced that reading fiction isn’t a waste of time?
Why reading fiction is not a waste of time? ›
Reading fiction is a great way to pass the time
Reading fiction can get you engaged in some pretty amazing stories, can make you daydream about better times or amazing events, and can make time fly. That is exactly what we need from time to time, and that is perfectly fine for our mental health.
Recent research in neuroscience suggests that you might look to the library for solutions; reading literary fiction helps people develop empathy, theory of mind, and critical thinking. When we read, we hone and strengthen several different cognitive muscles, so to speak, that are the root of the EQ.What is fiction is fiction Important Why or why not? ›
Fiction helps you understand other people's perspectives
It is a meld between the mind of the reader and the writer, and the minds of reader and character. When you read fiction, you're seeing the world through a character's eyes. Watching a character interact with the world around them is powerful.
Reading improves memory and cognitive ability — which means it's a healthy habit that can help kids in and outside the classroom. Along with that improved brain power comes an improved vocabulary.Can reading fiction improve memory? ›
Reading fiction provides mental stimulation which helps with memory, vocabulary, and focus. When reading, we put ourselves into the mind of the characters. This can help develop empathy and emotional intelligence.How fiction can change reality? ›
The experience of gaining access to the interiority of the characters' minds can broaden our perspective and more accepting of diversity. Sometimes, people get so engrossed with the characters that their own personalities get affected. The extent may vary, but fiction creeps into the daily existence for many of us.Does reading fiction improve English? ›
Reading fiction books to learn English is one of the most effective ways to improve your language skills because fiction books are the most enjoyable things to read! English story books help to extend your vocabulary in a “natural way” by entertaining you and engaging your mind in ways that many English classes can't.What are the advantages of reading fantasy? ›
Engaging with fantasy can stimulate creativity and boost vocabulary. It may help some children develop better self-regulation skills. It might even enhance their working memory performance, and — under some conditions — help them discover creative solutions to problems.Why is fiction important to humanity? ›
Reading fiction helps make us human. Literature connects us to and deepens our understanding of other people—their needs, desires, and motivations. It helps us get in touch with our own feelings. It introduces us to people and places we would not otherwise know.What are the 5 reasons why we read? ›
- Reading Improves Brain Function. A person who reads everyday gets better at it over time. ...
- Reading Reduces Stress. Modern life is stressful – period. ...
- Reading Can Improve Your State of Mind. ...
- Reading Improves Overall Wellness. ...
- Reading Aloud to Children Has a Lasting Impact.
Why is fiction better than nonfiction essay? ›
Reading fiction makes us more empathetic.
Studies indicate that the better and more captivating the story, the more effective it is at changing assumptions and challenging stereotypes. In fact, research shows that fiction is more effective than nonfiction at changing our views about people different from ourselves.
Character is perhaps the most important element of fiction, as things must happen to someone or something in order for a story to progress. Not only is this crucial for story development, but as human beings, we read stories and enjoy stories because we can see ourselves in them, often through the characters.Why is fiction important in history? ›
Even after we know the facts, we continue to search for sense and meaning. That is at the essence of our humanity. The historical novelist exposes the reader to the inner lives of people across time and place, and in doing so illuminates history's untold stories, allowing the reader to experience a more complex truth.Does reading fiction make you happier? ›
Reading has been shown to put our brains into a pleasurable trance-like state, similar to meditation, and it brings the same health benefits of deep relaxation and inner calm. Regular readers sleep better, have lower stress levels, higher self-esteem, and lower rates of depression than non-readers.What are the 20 benefits of reading? ›
- Strengthens the brain.
- Increases empathy.
- Builds vocabulary.
- Prevents cognitive decline.
- Reduces stress.
- Aids sleep.
- Alleviates depression.
- Lengthens lifespan.
Our genes make play, and therefore reading fiction, enjoyable because they help us be interactive and manage our emotions. We do what we're good at, and we're naturally good at considering the perspectives of others and getting inside a new role.Does reading fiction improve theory of mind? ›
A Good Read
Kidd and Castano (p. 377, published online 3 October) provide experimental evidence that reading passages of literary fiction, in comparison to nonfiction or popular fiction, does indeed enhance the reader's performance on theory of mind tasks.
The politics of fiction
Listening to stories widens the imagination; telling them lets us leap over cultural walls, embrace different experiences, feel what others feel. Elif Shafak builds on this simple idea to argue that fiction can overcome identity politics.
Reading fiction can spur growth and self-development. Exiting our self-narratives and simulating others' mental states is behind the mechanism of fiction's transformational powers. Reading fiction can help increase cognitive empathy and teach us about ourselves.How fiction affects our lives? ›
Reading Fiction Enhances Our Imagination
By taking us into another world, it opens our minds to new ideas and possibilities that definitely help us experience and analyze the world through others' lives. This practice strengthens our mind and helps us in understanding new things.
Can reading fiction make us more human? ›
At the Princeton Social Neuroscience Lab, psychologist Diana Tamir has demonstrated that people who often read fiction have better social cognition. In other words, they're more skilled at working out what other people are thinking and feeling.Is fiction when its real? ›
Fiction is any narrative which does not contain facts or real events, rather it is based on imagination.Does reading fiction improve social skills? ›
A workout for a part of the brain tied to empathy. People who read a lot of fiction are known to have stronger social skills than nonfiction readers or nonreaders.Is reading fiction better than TV? ›
All the research says reading a book is good for you. Better even than listening to an audiobook or reading one on an e-reader. It reduces stress, promotes comprehension and imagination, alleviates depression, helps you sleep and may contribute to preventing Alzheimer's. Reading is active; watching TV is passive.Why children should read fiction? ›
Children who read books regularly are known to have better concentration, memory retention, and analytical skills. Reading fiction helps ease the anxieties children commonly experience facing important events in their lives, whether it's starting school, going on a first date, or approaching school tests.Why is fantasy better than realistic fiction? ›
Even realism is a constructed and imagined representation of reality, not reality per se. Fantasy just happens to be a more exaggerated departure from reality. One of the most obvious benefits of fantasy is that it allows readers to experiment with different ways of seeing the world.Why fantasy fiction is so popular? ›
Writers love the freedom the genre gives them to explore themes and ideas. Readers love the sense of wonder, and the assurance that one small person can make a difference. As Kate Forsyth says: “Fantasy fiction does not deny or diminish the existence of sorrow and pain, as so many people seem to think.What are four 4 reasons for reading? ›
- Strengthens Brain Activity. Reading gets your mind working across different areas. ...
- Boosts communication skills. ...
- Helps Self-Exploration. ...
- Makes One Intellectually Sound. ...
- Entertains. ...
- Imparts Good Values. ...
- Enhances creativity. ...
- Lowers Stress.
To improve students' reading comprehension, teachers should introduce the seven cognitive strategies of effective readers: activating, inferring, monitoring-clarifying, questioning, searching-selecting, summarizing, and visualizing-organizing.How does fiction make us better people? ›
A lot of prior work has found that people who read fiction — any fiction, not just the literary kind — tend to be more empathetic, meaning they're better able to understand and share what others are feeling. Some of this empathy work has documented a cause-and-effect relationship between reading and empathy.
Why do humans like stories so much? ›
Stories work because they engage our emotions, leaving us open to suggestion. They've been used as a way of sharing information since childhood, by entertaining our minds and making us feel (whether it be positive or negative emotions).What are the 5 W's in reading? ›
The five Ws (what, when, where, why, who) plus an H (how) strategy can be used in a variety of ways. It is often used to help students summarise an article they read.What is the real purpose of reading? ›
The purpose of reading is to connect the ideas on the page to what you already know. If you don't know anything about a subject, then pouring words of text into your mind is like pouring water into your hand.Do students prefer fiction or nonfiction? ›
However, research has shown that young children often prefer nonfiction over fictional books. * This may be because children are still learning about the world around them and facts and stories about real-life topics are new and exciting!Do you think fiction is better than nonfiction? ›
While the fiction engages the imagination and demands present-state attention. Fiction pose us with hypothetical questions and explores us with potential consequences. But this is not possible with a nonfiction book. Nonfiction books give us facts, information while the fictional books develop our ability to think.What are three facts about fiction? ›
- Fact #1: Fiction is all about a character. ...
- Fact #2: Fiction is all about what your character wants. ...
- Fact #3: Fiction is all about how your character gets or does not get what he or she wants.
There are five main elements of fiction to be found in (nearly) every piece of fiction: plot, setting characters, narrative perspective, and theme. Plot is the sequence of events and their relationship in a story. Setting is the time and place in which the events of a literary work occur.What are three things about fiction? ›
The three most important elements of fiction are character, plot, and setting. We can call this the first tier of elements. These elements are essential to fiction—a story without any one of these three is not a story.How does reading fiction affect your understanding of history? ›
Reading historical fiction gives you understanding of the past, clarity in the present, and foreknowledge of the future. It takes you to different eras and different places. You get to know thousands of characters. It's knowledge, but it's also just plain FUN!Is it a waste of time to re read books? ›
Rereading is necessary to build a greater understanding of a text than can be accomplished on a first reading. Without rereading, it may be impossible to appreciate a writer's more subtle talents or to comprehend a text's intricate ideas and themes.
Why is reading non fiction beneficial? ›
Make real-world connections. Since nonfiction books share facts or real-life events, they are great tools for making real-world connections to build on children's knowledge and personal experiences. This also means that you can use nonfiction books to further enhance children's experiences and interests.Why you should never stop reading? ›
Reading challenges our minds and sparks our creativity. It makes us see things in our "mind's eye" rather than simply interpreting someone else's vision.Is reading a book better than watching a movie why why not? ›
When reading books, we get more knowledge and it helps us improve our vocabulary. Characters are described much better and with more detail. One important thing that books do have and movies don't is that they provide more background information than a movie does.What are the benefits of re reading? ›
Rereading books strengthens an understanding of the pattern, rhythm and pronunciation of the text. Developing a deeper understanding of phonemic awareness involves identifying, hearing and manipulating separate sounds in words, an important early stage of learning to read.Do books rot over time? ›
The Books Themselves
Depending on when the book was published, the paper, ink and binding material could all deteriorate or corrode over time. Paper is vulnerable to chemical reactions during the ageing process and leather bindings are vulnerable to damage if they get too damp or frozen.
Stop reading boring books. Unless you absolutely need to finish reading a book for a class, position or job, you're probably better off putting down books you don't enjoy. I've found good books are like good food, the more you enjoy it, the faster you want to ingest it.Do kids prefer fiction or non fiction? ›
Furthermore, according to research reported on by NPR, not only are children “significantly more likely to prefer fact over fiction,” but they are also more likely to select true stories over fantasy than are adults.Does reading non fiction reduce stress? ›
Everybody knows that reading nonfiction books can help them become more determined and build a better routine. And this revamped lifestyle will reduce their stress levels — and in a broader sense — their anxiety. As such, reading nonfiction is a well-established weapon against anxiety and procrastination.Is excessive reading harmful? ›
Even though you will not lose your eyesight or damage it in any way through doing too much reading, you can cause some eye strain if your reading sessions run for too long. The symptoms are quite easy to identify: your eyes may be itchy, watering, or you might even get blurry vision.Can reading become unhealthy? ›
Reading for a long time or “too much” reading can actually be harmful to you. There are several health damages- both mental and physical that can happen if you read a lot. When you read too much, you become lazy, slow, drained, and exhausted both physically and mentally.
Is reading too much a disorder? ›
Bibliomania is not a psychological disorder recognized by the American Psychiatric Association in its DSM-IV. Bibliomaniacs are characterized as those who are obsessed with books so much so that they will go to extreme measures to obtain the books they want.Is reading fiction better than watching TV? ›
Reading has a positive effect on our mental health, while watching TV has the exact opposite effect. Reading can reduce stress, lower our blood pressure, our heart rate and muscle tension. On top of the knowledge boost reading provides us with, it also has a healing effect on our mental state.Why stories are better than movies? ›
When you read a book, you can interpret the plot and the story to your liking. Books allow your mind to be creative. Furthermore, books are much more detailed than films. Usually a film lasts approximately two hours while in a book there can be hundreds (maybe thousands) of pages of description.Are books better for your brain than movies? ›
But books give you more: They boost your imagination, creativity, thinking skills. They exercise more parts of your brain – you're making your brain better in many ways.