Friday, January 21, 2011

You Tell Me: Why Bother Read Fiction

It's Friday. Thank God it's Friday huh? Time to curl into those books you stole to read through the traffic, during break at work and early in the morning before you set out. We have this light argument...well about fiction.More like about the purpose of fiction. Here you go: tell us why you read fiction.

The first question is: why bother read fiction? Life as short as it is, with books of information, instruction and discussion, waiting to be read, waiting to show you an easy guide to existence and survival; why should you spend your precious time on works of imagination?

You tell us!


  1. I read fiction because it helps me see the world in a new way, through different characters eyes and I feel like with each book of fiction I read, I grow more as a person.

    But that is just an added bonus...I read fiction because I like to be entertained and nothing does it better than a good book.

  2. There are a ton of reasons why I'd spend my precious time on fiction, but I'll state just a few.

    It was the imagination of people like H.G. Wells, Jules Verne and countless other Science fiction writers as far back as the 19th Century that made it possible for for Neil Armstrong to touch down on the moon in 1969. It was the imagination in works like Plato's Republic, Thomas More's Utopia and George Orwell's 1984 that helped shape contemporary political philosophy. And you'd find it hard not to agree that the world would be a really boring place to live in without stories by the likes of Lewis Carrol, Enid Blyton and J.K. Rowling.

    Non-fiction might be okay for an 'easy guide to existence and survival'. But I think exceeding yourself and achieving relevance requires the ability to live constantly on the edge of reality....and maybe daring to step off it sometimes. Non-fiction is essentially what was, at best what is. Fiction, when not unduely exaggerated, is the substance of what can, and will be.

  3. I love to get out my small world and peer through the window of fiction into the imagination and the reality of others, like me or not...

  4. A writer once told me that fiction should be a vivid continuous dream. I agree. There's a certain satisfaction I get from reading a well told story that i don't get when I read a self help book. Perhaps because the characters linger with me long after I close the last page. Perhaps because every good story I read inspires me to tell my own story. Or it might just be because I'm fascinated by the motives that drive people. The ability to capture human emotion in neat yet unrestrained strokes is what makes fiction special to me. That, I think, is why I read fiction.