We often get to hear from people why they should read fiction. We can learn from them, get amused by the stories they contain, from stories relating history to the future. But, what really is the reason to spend our “free time” on reading fiction, besides the entertainment they provide?
Yes, they are our pleasure sources. But, more than that they teach us how best to live our lives. Fictions are unreal, but the best stories and pearls of wisdom we find in them cannot be captured in any other way. We not only read great books – the books read us as well. A great novel reflects the complexity and contradiction the human conditions possess. And, every time we read a novel, maybe read it several times, plunging deep into the characters and a new world is always fascinating and relief to the brain. We gain the understanding of the world around us and, most important, of ourselves.
However, in a world of ever-increasing tech gadgets and digital socialization, it is easy to forget the simple pleasures in life, like reading a good fiction novel. Nevertheless, fictions are more beneficial than merely providing entertainment. Below are the scientifically-backed reasons why reading fiction is good for you.
1. Better Insight of the World
If you are looking for ways to reduce the apprehension associated with socialization, then go ahead and read a fantastic fiction book. According to psychologist Keith Oatley, a professor from the University of Toronto, this genre serves as a wonderful simulation of the social world. Reading fiction can help enhance the person’s understanding of the social scenario before he goes off and faces the world.
Fiction reading increases empathy. How a good book transports you into it, that immersive power allows the reader to happily inhabit other people, places, and points of view. This relation with fiction helps to feel from the frame of reference of the character, and in the real life too this affinity gets enhanced.
3. Helps Brain Stay in Shape
Brain fitness at every age is most important. Fiction reading does help in it. A study in the online journal Neurology found that those who engaged in mentally stimulating activities (like reading) earlier and later on in life experienced slower memory declined compared to those who didn’t. In addition to slower memory decline, those who read more (and are more mentally active) have been found to show fewer characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a 2001 study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Reading fiction amplifies your creativity. Reading books can help create new ideas and pictures in the mind and as well in better information processing, which can enhance the creativity level.
Reading novels make people happy. They are the source of amusement and help relieve the stress. A survey of 1,500 adult readers in the UK found that 76% of them said reading improves their life and helps to make them feel good. Other findings of the survey are that those who read books regularly are on average more satisfied with life, happier, and more likely to feel that the things they do in life are worthwhile.