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Fiction Books

Hello everyone,

sorry that I have been making so many post lately!! Smiley Embarassed Just have been thinking about a lot of different things.


Anyways, I just wanted to see if anyone else feels the same way as me. 


Okay so, I like reading in my free time- but in the past year or so I have stopped myself from reading fiction books because I feel super guilty whenever I do. I just feel bad for reading something that isn't academic/educational- which is silly I guess because the whole point in having free time is to do something you enjoy.

Also I guess a part of me is scared too... I am really wary of what influences me. Sometimes I get so into a book that the characters and their mindsets rub off on me. So when a character is super negative in a book I'm reading then I start to feel negative too. I don't know if other people experience this too? I guess I am just influenced easily by others emotions and thoughts.


I really enjoy reading fiction (mainly fantasy/sci-fi/supernatural books- I know I am sorta nerdy) but I seriously am doubting whether I should or not. Reading non-fiction is okay I guess- I learn a lot- but I don't seem to enjoy it as much.


A part of me feels like I need to grow up- and that I need to stop reading fiction.




Re: Fiction Books

Hey @Jardin,

No worries at all, we all need some time to ourselves every once in a while. It's great to see you back Smiley Very Happy 



As for the reading - honestly, this might just be my personal bias speaking, but I think it's great that you're reading at all 😅. I used to be a giant reader when I was younger -as in "used to borrow 20-30 books from the library per visit, and then be back between two weeks to a month for more"- and to this day, it's one of the things that I most dearly miss, and yet also never seem to be able to find the time for. Because there are always "better" or more important things to do - like that assignment due next week, or that email to my boss that I've been putting off. Not to mention all the other times when I really could have been reading, but decided that it was more important binge watch an entire season of Buzzfeed's "Worth It" series instead. (I'm not proud.) So kudos for reading! It's not the easiest thing to do with all the distractions around these days, but you've still kept at it, within your list of priorities. That's impressive.


But while I think it's really nice that you're committed to trying to "make the most of your time" by wanting to focus on non-fiction and educational books, I think you might actually be undervaluing fiction a little. The the events that happen in fiction might not be real, but I don't think it's entirely fair to say that they don't teach us anything either. Fairy tales might not be real, but they all have important lessons embedded inside them - The Boy Who Cried Wolf, is all about the importance of being honest, The Three Little Pigs is about how proper preparation pays off, Hansel and Gretel about stranger danger. Stories like Cinderella are about hope; hope that no matter what the current circumstances may be, there is always a chance for things to get better, that everything will work out in the end. None of them may be true, but that doesn't mean they're not valuable to read nonetheless. And of course, it's not just fairy tales that contain these lessons - all stories do. Most of them are just a lot less direct about it because they're targeted at an older audience, and have more sophisticated lessons than "don't lie".


There's a bunch of other really great reasons why fiction is worthwhile to read, even if it doesn't seem as directly educational as say, reading the newspaper, which I won't go into, because frankly it's all been said before by people far more articulate than me - if you have 5 minutes to spare, I recommend reading this article on books by Neil Gaiman. It discusses a lot of the other points you bring up, and might address some of the other questions you have. If you love reading, it's well worth the time, I promise.


P.S. It's definitely not just you who gets affected by books - I routinely get chills just reading John Connolly, and I was ruined, ruined for a solid week after reading "When Breath Becomes Air" by Paul Kalanithi and listening to Hope Jahren's narration of her book, "Lab Girl". If anything, it's a testament of just how good these authors are, that they can reach through time and space, and rip your beating heart out of its chest. Good writing is a hell of a thing.



Re: Fiction Books

I really love Asche's response to this.

About a year ago I started feeling really similar to you, @Jardin. I was thinking about how there's only going to be so many books I can read in my lifetime--there are more books written and published each year than I could read in my life. And it really got me thinking about how I want the books I read in my life to be worth reading.

Also similarly to you, I've always read and preferred fiction books to non-fiction books.

I've found that one of the big reasons for this though, is that the non-fiction books I'd been exposed to when I was younger either simply weren't on interesting topics or were too information dense. You know how with those books that are like '1990 inventions from the 1990s', it's pure information that I'm never going to remember or do anything with.
So, I've been more carefully picking the non-fiction books that I take up.

Reading is what you make of it and what you want it to be, though. I want each book I read to have a purpose, so I try to pick out books that tell me something. And this includes both fiction and non-fiction. I'm more likely to read a classic fiction book or something really popular right now than something obscure that only others in that genre's niche will know.
But reading purely, or reading something, for enjoyment is just as valid. It's like with any other form of media.
I could be watching a documentary, but I just want to enjoy something light so I put on a rom-com. I could be reading serious newspapers, but maybe I just want to read reviews of movies. I could put on an audiobook, but maybe I just want to sing along to Taylor Swift.
And most importantly, I can do all of those things at different times.

Re: Fiction Books

Hey @Asche, thanks so much for your reply Smiley Happy it has helped me out heaps. I think I often forget that fiction can be educational too. I just read the article you attached and it was wonderful Heart. It has brought up many great points that I hadn't even thought of. Thank you so much! 

It is also great to find someone else who enjoys reading as much as I do Smiley Very Happy


Re: Fiction Books

Hey @Birdeye, thanks so much for your response Smiley Happy. I feel like our experiences are very similar indeed. I can definitely relate to preferring fiction over non-fiction. Also, I agree completely that there is not enough time to read all the brilliant books out there! 

When I was younger, I also found non-fiction dull and information-heavy - and wondered why people read them as all. Growing up, that thought stayed with me for a while, which I guess caused me to avoid reading non-fiction all together. Lately however, I have found that some non-fiction is actually quite good- and like you I have been much more careful in selecting which non-fiction books to read. 

I coming to terms now that it is okay to read a book simply for enjoyment. And I think that your approach- allowing yourself to do different things at different times- is great. 

I guess I'm the sort of person who is all-or-nothing, which can be very unhealthy. So, I hope I can be more like you in the way that you allow yourself to do a variety of things Heart


Re: Fiction Books

This is a easy one, at least for me. Do what you enjoy @Jardin. You don't need us or anyone to validate your decisions. If you enjoy reading non-fiction less than fiction then just stick to what you enjoy. There is no one that says you can only read non-fiction when you grow up. That's like saying you can't drink soda because it's a kids drink and now you can only drink beer. It makes no sense and you shouldn't let others tell you what you can and can't do (within the law of course). 


Re: Fiction Books

Thank you so much @LeoTheLion Smiley Happy. I agree with you completely- it is very important that I remember to do things just for enjoyment. Sometimes I forget that I am human and need to give myself time to do stuff I like.