Escaping to Read / Having a Life / Literature

Why I Like Reading Fiction

I have often wondered why I shudder when passing the self-help section at the book store. I actually feel horrified at the thought of reading about my own psychosis. Why would anyone subject themselves to therapy through a book! Go to a therapist for C.O.L! At least there you’ll get some social interaction and can actually talk out what’s wrong with you.

I seem to be the same way with religious practice and theory books. I have a stack of them in my nightstand and I pass right by them every time I am looking for another book to read.

And now, that I’m on a roll, let me just admit that I hate reading history books, biographies, travel logs and autobiographies. These are usually written by terrible, unpracticed, dry, lethargic anthropologist types who wouldn’t know a stunning sentence if it grabbed him by his facial hair.

There. I think I’ve figured it out. I hate reading stuff that’s boring. No, that’s not quite it. I love Thomas Hardy, Charles Dickins and Elizabeth Gaskell. And most people think staring at a blank wall is more invigorating.

In addition to non-fiction being boring and poorly-written most of the time, I think my issues with non-fiction is that it has too much to do with reality. And reading, for me, is about escaping my own reality. And the reality of the people in my world. I deal with those people all throughout my day, so escaping them for even just a 1/2 hour a day is magical.

Give me Science Fiction, Historical Fiction, British Literature, Contemporary Literature, Classical Literature, Poetry, Religious Fiction. I will read anything – just mix in a little lies with a little truth and you have perfectly baked literary souffle.

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3 thoughts on “Why I Like Reading Fiction

  1. HEY LADY, i agree. why read about the real depressing stuff? sometimes you need a break from reality. i teach at arcadia elementary school…maby we could have holen come paint with arden. we can strip them down to the diaper and let em create! its easir then real paint without the mess)

  2. Hey! I love all the books you love! We should get married or something.

    Although, I do love the occasional stuffy non-fiction book. But the fact that I’m stuffy shouldn’t be news to you.

    I’m sure you could get into Nibley or Skousen, though. They seem genuinely excited about the stuff they write about.

  3. Oh, you just haven’t found the right historians. There are some brilliant ones, ones who can turn a phrase with the best novelist, who can wax metaphorical with the of the best poets. I’ll admit, I’ve a tolerance for dense exposition in history, economics, or social issues, but if you let me know what sort of history you’re interested in, and I can point out some great works.

    And yes, we all need to escape sometimes. But equally as important is the need to understand our world and the forces which are shaping it–whether those forces are the concept of democracy and its evolution through the ages from Athens; or the development of world trade from the Roman Empire to the Renaissance, to the British Empire, to our modern globalized world; or the various world religions and their impact on the cultures of the planet. I can assure you, reality is every bit as bizarre, fascinating, and wondrous as any flight of fancy concocted in fiction.

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