How Has Reading Fiction Changed Your Life for The Better?

Non-Fiction vs. Fiction

Just a simple question for today. For a long time I only read non-fiction to “better” myself and to build up knowledge about specific subjects. I enjoyed novels but saw them as a frivolous thing. Secretly I envied the authors and sometimes even the characters so I avoided them (I was the same with romantic comedy movies).

Do you have mixed feelings about fiction? Now that I’ve realized that my life mission is actually writing fiction I’m more curious than ever  about what fiction does for readers.

Are you a reader or writer of books? Do you enjoy fiction or non-fiction? How have fictional stories and characters impacted your life?

I’d love to know what you all think.

For further reading:

5 Reasons Why We Like Fiction

Why Bother Reading Fiction?

Fiction vs. Non-Fiction: Which Do You Prefer?

all books cover-page0001
The Tenafly Road Series

24 Comments Add yours

  1. cricketmuse says:

    Given the choice I go to fiction just as I would prefer strawberries over broccoli—I like both, both have healthy qualities, but strawberries are just a bit tastier and sweeter

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know what you mean but as a weird kid I was the one who liked broccoli over sweets –and hot dogs. lol.

      Some great history books read like fiction–I devour those. Especially ones about tragic figures like the Russian Czar and US President Grant.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I prefer fiction although I wouldn’t mind either. The reason I tilt towards fiction is because it stimulates your mind and broadens your imagination

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    1. I’m mostly torn between history and fiction because in a lot of ways they do what you say–stimulate the mind and imagination. Reading about amazing people gets me super inspired.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s true. I enjoy myself a few stories of conquests and invasions as well haha. They keep me fascinated.

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      2. War really is fascinating. Like Robert E. Lee once said, “It is well that war is so terrible — lest we should grow too fond of it.”

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I read all kinds of books, from non-fiction on topics that interest me to poetry that reaches my soul to fiction by favorite writers and others recommended by friends whose taste is similar to mine. As for writing, I’ve always wanted to write stories and started doing so when I was a kid. My first four (still unpublished) books were for the children’s market but about 16 years ago I started to write adult fiction. I find that the best writers reveal emotional truths about how people solve problems and live in the world, and find the stories fascinating. Have I changed my lifestyle because of reading? I think I’m a better person and more likely to listen to others than to shout at them. Well, at least, first I listen.

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    1. I always love your thoughts. Your last line made me laugh. You’re an opinionated flirt, Shari! LOL.

      I agree that the best fiction and the best history books enlighten us and help us to view the world with more compassion.

      What’s the first book you read that really made an impact on you?

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  4. Lily Pierce says:

    With the exception of Christian books, I have started and not finished a few non-fiction books, but I almost always finish the fiction books. 🙂 In my mind, reading fiction is still more productive than binge-watching shows.

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    1. I leave a lot of books unfinished, to be honest. If I don’t enjoy it I don’t feel the need to complete–I know some people have guilt about that.

      I think another reason I avoided fiction for a while was because it often caused me to feel too much–like I was taking on yet another person’s problems. I’m highly sensitive to the moods of others. I basically felt like I was in Prince Andrei’s heart and head when I read War and Peace and it devastated me for months. I can laugh now. 🙂

      Do you have a favorite genre of fiction or a favorite fiction book?

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  5. I confess to the same attitude about fiction until I realized (well after college and first jobs) that fiction was an escape. I returned from my bout of fiction reading refreshed and re-invigorated. Nonfic doesn’t do that for me.

    Interesting question and good responses!

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    1. Yes, I’m really enjoying the responses. I think I must read the wrong type of fiction, Jacqui, because what I read often makes me feel all the world’s pain and sorrow more deeply, yet happy, light books don’t do it for me (except maybe Anne of Green Gables).

      Right now I’m reading a non-fiction book about the aftermath of Gettysburg–definitely not a good escape book!

      Do you have an all-time favorite fiction book?

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  6. I’m a reader and a writer of fiction. Although I do enjoy memoirs, fiction is my way to escape the craziness in our world!

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    1. It’s funny how some people are saying fiction is their escape while others are saying it helps them process the world we live in. 🙂

      Was there a fiction book that convinced you to also write fiction?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I can’t really pinpoint one book in particular. I’ve always been a big reader and one day, I just started writing my own stories. Thanks for asking!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I think many times fiction is BETTER 😉 than non-fiction because it touches our spirit as well as our minds. Sure, there is junk fiction out there, but I’ve learned so much about my faith, humanity, compassion, and beauty through fiction. Yeah, maybe these lessons aren’t in a self-help format as they in non-fiction, but they reach me in a way that non-fiction never will. That’s the POWER of story. It has a potential to be LIFE-CHANGING.

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    1. So well put, Amy. I agree that while I used to read self help books (that never worked), I never felt anything for them. I love everything I read by CS Lewis but his fictional Screwtape Letters about how demons plot against us silly humans tells the whole story of man’s battle against evil is the best!

      My love of animals was definitely nurtured as a child by all the stories I read out of the Golden Books and of course The Cricket in Times Square series. Books are so life changing!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I have to admit I enjoy non-fiction, I’m currently reading a history of the Boer War 1998-1902, and yes a little dry with dates and battles etc, my difficulty with fiction is finding stories I’ll enjoy reading by that I mean I know there are great novels out there it’s just a matter of discovering them!

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    1. I’ve had the same problem! As a writer I sheepishly confess that modern literature doesn’t appeal to me much. I secretly think I’m stuck in an 1870’s mindset. When I started writing my own books I had fun writing just what I love to read–characters with depth, redemption that seems believable and great clothes. 🙂

      I’d love to know more about the Boer War. Sadly what I know is from watching one of my favorite movies Breaker Morant. Have you seen it?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I confess I haven’t watched Breaker Morant in a great many years, however after Googling earlier I’m going to watch again. I have a personal connection to the war in that my Great Grandfather fought in the Orange Free State and was awarded medals…………. quite possibly my most favoured possessions. I’ll admit I’m not a fan of fantasy fiction but then life would be boring if we all enjoyed the same wouldn’t it, 🙂 your blog intrigues me and I’m going to delve a little deeper!

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      2. There’s something so awesome about connecting to dead relatives. I was just given a photo of a cousin who fought in the Civil War. He looks so like my son it’s weird and cool!.

        I’d have to agree with you. I can’t get into magic and fantasy fiction.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Several months ago my mother discovered a photo of her father taken in his late 20’s, everyone (including me) gasped when they first viewed the picture because it’s like looking at a photo of my sibling!!! Incredible, I believe genetics play a big part in the person we become, yes the environment moulds us but I tend to believe genes give us our true personality………. lol only a theory!

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  9. I read fiction and nonfiction, but fiction engages my brain more I think. It tickles my creativity and I encourages empathy. We spend so long in an intimate connection with the characters in a story that we come to understand them better than we often allow ourselves to try to understand real people. And that can be true even if we don’t like a character. We still have to believe they could be real. It’s good practice for real relationships.

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    1. Yes, fiction gives us a little emotional space to understand others, but then some really good history writers do the same. It’s a tough decision for me. I like both. 🙂

      Any favorite non-fiction or fiction writers?

      Like

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