3 Reasons to Read Fiction
For years I had read almost exclusively non-fiction. This year, though, I have started to read fiction and plan on reading many more fiction books than non-fiction. As some of my Twitter followers may have noticed, I started to read fiction. I read the first two books of The Hunger Games series relatively quickly, and have just started A Walk Across the Sun. There are many good reasons to read fiction books; below are three of them.
1) Information Overload
Whether it’s the 24/7 news cycle (and unlimited number of news sources), a work environment that demands an ever-increasing knowledge base, or the constant access to information through our phones, laptops, and tablets, everyone has become susceptible to information overload. Fiction books offer an alternative to a lot of the other entertainment options such as video games, movies, and tv shows, while still allowing us an escape from our constant information flow we experience throughout the rest of our day.
2) The Importance of Stories
A marketing professor once told me that the most important thing to do when it comes to interviewing is to learn to tell good stories. I love books that hold my attention and tell a great story, and oftentimes those “can’t set down” books are ones where the author tells an engaging story. If you ever have to write or tell stories, understanding what makes up a good story and being exposed to great storytellers can only benefit you.
3) Become a Better Writer
Writing is a skill that you will use in just about any job. Especially in a world where people are sending more emails than ever before and “excellent” written communication is showing up as a pre-requisite more and more often, reading can only help you become a more polished writer. While there is certainly room for reading non-fiction books, blogs, and news articles, reading fiction books or short stories can give you a break and allow you to be exposed to a different kind of writing from time-to-time (or on a daily basis, if you so choose).
Since I started to read fiction I have found myself more likely to want to pick up a book than watching the television to “get away” from the day-to-day non-fiction reading that I still do on a daily basis. I will always love non-fiction – it’s the genre I write currently and the large majority of the writing of others that I consume – but I’m excited about reading author’s fictional works and see what stories they have come up with. The more I think about what it would take to write a great fictional work, the more I appreciate fictional books and stories.
Do you read fiction? What is your favorite fiction book or book series (mine is Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged)?
Photos by Robert Couse-Baker