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.
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?