Sunday, April 20, 2008

Why Read Fiction?

I was discussing this with some of my family in Kentucky last weekend, that there are some people who think reading fiction is a waste of time. "It's not real," they argue. "Why should I spend my time on something that's not true?"

My answer to this question is that although the characters and events may be fabricated, there is still truth to be found in fiction. We learn truths about human nature and the effects our actions can have on others. Not only that, but there is a beauty and artistry in the novel that one should learn to respect, even if one cannot enjoy it because the story may be imaginary.

"But what about fantasy and science fiction?" they continue. "Why read anything from that genre when so many aspects are so far-fetched?" Even if someone can come to accept the merits of fiction, many don't enjoy these genres because they seem so removed from reality. To this I say, open your mind and let your imagination out for some fresh air. I will admit and accept that fantasy and science fiction are not for everybody, but that's okay - that just means the books I want at the library are always available.

Now, go read some good fiction and let me know how it goes.

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