“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”
– Charles William Elliot
I’m certain that many of you will acknowledge what Charles William Elliot said. No one can deny the degree of power that books hold within itself and what lasting prints it leaves on us.
People usually pick up non-fiction books relating to- self-help, business, health, the lifestyle which are undoubtedly great to widen one’s horizons of knowledge. But fictions, on the other hand, are in a way an untapped reservoir of knowledge, wisdom, understanding, emotions, and countless other things.
If one wishes to develop an exceptional personality then he/she must inculcate the act of reading fiction. These are the most robust way of exercising your brain muscles and being more creative apart from developing a sense of understanding.
Reading fiction is like living many hundreds of life and experiencing all the heat and rain of it.
Ernest Hemingway said, “All good books have one thing in common — they are truer than if they had really happened, and after you’ve read one of them you will feel that all that happened, happened to you and then it belongs to you forever: the happiness and unhappiness, good and evil, ecstasy and sorrow, the food, wine, beds, people, and the weather.”
And only a fiction reader can relate to what Hemingway has said. While reading fiction the protagonist’s life gets affixed with the readers and whatever happens to him is experienced by the reader within himself and this is how the not-the-real story becomes an experience for the reader and it carries this experience throughout his life.
READING FICTION MAKES YOU MORE CREATIVE-
According to research conducted at the University of Toronto, it was found out that the students who read fiction experienced less need for “cognitive closure” (the human desire to eliminate ambiguity and arrive at definite conclusions ) than non-fiction readers.
Reading fiction novels makes the brain active and enables the reader to broaden his creativity and think of a situation or a thing from many different ways and angles.
FICTION HELPS UNDERSTAND OTHERS PERSPECTIVE-
You must have sensed while reading a fiction book a connection between you and the character. You see the situation through the character’s view and not from yours. That is where you blend yourself with the character and understand his perspectives, the way he opines, his actions, his arguments, and his justifications.
A good fiction runs deep in the dominion of psychology and philosophy. You start to accept and justify the other person’s viewpoint.
READING FICTION GIVES YOU WISDOM AND EXPERIENCE-
Many different books have many different stories. Each time you pick a book you are transported back to a completely different time and space. That is the power of reading fiction books.
You experience tragedies, happy endings, downfall, success, and whatnot. And while these experiences, you widen the realm of your wisdom. You clearly see the distinction between true and untrue, good and evil.
“You can never be wise unless you love reading”, says Samuel Johnson, an 18th CE English writer.
For instance, while reading a history academic textbook you just gulp down the fact and dates. But when you read historical fiction you walk down that path, experience the time and surrounding. And after you have put down your book you feel as if you are back in your time with a bagful of experiences and long-lasting impact.
“A good book is an event in my life.” is what Stendhal, a 19th-century French writer feels about reading.
FICTION HELPS YOU UNDERSTAND THE BIGGER PICTURE-
Fiction in its narration exhibits the bigger picture in a minuscule and detailed manner. It familiarises the readers with the ground situation and gives them a wholesome experience.
In the book “The Thousand Splendid Suns”, Khaled Hosseini portrays the life journey of a young girl to becoming an old woman in Afghanistan from the time of Soviet invasion to the reign of Taliban to post-Taliban rebuilding.
Through this deep-moving chronicle, the author teaches its reader about the life of common Afghanistani during the time, the hardships she goes through, and a beautiful, gripping description of her feelings and emotions.
Hosseini, through his book, tries to make his readers experience while sitting on their couch the turns and turmoils in the protagonist’s life and learn from the story the life morals, values, and virtues to hold on to.
All in all reading fiction gives you ‘EXPERIENCE’ of many lives and thus helps you in your overall personality.