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The Importance of Fiction

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“Reading fiction is just another form of escapism”- you might have heard this at some point in your life, but do you really agree with this? Quality fiction, to me, is the essential break one needs from regular life. As long as you are not ignoring your work for it, fiction is an absolute delight.

A cup of coffee and a book take you  to the adventure where you are the observer. You share the happiest and the saddest emotions with the characters  but, you know in your heart that it will not affect the way your day will turn out. I think all of us have guilt of being irresponsible sometimes because we could not just help the characters, though we always know that it is impossible in reality. That’s the power of connection that fiction has. Fiction gives us the window of opportunity to do just that through a different persona.

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One might argue that a break is essential because it pacifies your mind and soul. However, I feel that this argument has one flaw- “it ignores the fact that when you step back into reality right now after the travel,  r indulging in fiction really makes you feel  rejuvenated and energized which helps you to tackle life head-on”.

Fictional books improve your power of imagination which in turn improves your creativity, and that gets reflected in everything you do. An author constructs an alternate world just for you to enjoy. Doing this  is an art in itself. Don’t you agree?  In today’s world where originality is slowing down and losing its place and importance, the power to create your own imagination is an absolutely valuable quality to possess which can be developed through reading fictional stories.

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Non-Fiction is also important
There is no doubt that reading non-fiction is as equally important as reading fiction because you get to increase your knowledge and know more about the world that you live in. Just because you love fiction, you cannot live your life disliking non-fiction because that would lead to an imbalance in your reading habits If you really like reading various stories.

Fiction will always be your companion in your happiest and the toughest times purely because of the sheer variety it offers. Reading about characters who might have the same emotions as you  do,  is a wonderful experience that you might miss out on if you just read non-fiction books.

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Moreover, the notion that fiction cannot give you valuable information is utterly wrong. The plots and characters of a book are almost always influenced from real life. So when you are reading about a fictional world, you are actually learning about the social, cultural and political circumstances of that particular period in that particular place. These books allow you see the truth behind certain events through metaphors because they cannot be written in stark black and white.

Can fiction help you professionally?

Yes, you heard that correct.

Fiction can help you see the world from other people’s perspectives and hence become a more empathetic person who sees the larger picture.

Being in the shoes of another person completely can often help you develop a better understanding of your co-workers and sharpen your inter-personal skills in the office. Also, reading of course revamps your vocabulary. The innovation in the imagination of fictional stories can help you frame  solutions in real life too.

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If you want a deeper understanding of psychology and human evolution, then fiction will be your best friend.

Exceptions
Claiming that all fiction is great is, however, not true because there are millions of books in print and some of them have poor writing, wafer-thin plots and melodrama. These mass-produced dramas are not something you might want to waste your time on. Just like everything else in life, you have to choose your fiction carefully too. But what we can assure you is that your effort will be worth the satisfaction!

So, next time someone tries to make you feel guilty for ‘wasting’ your time on a book, do not relent and put it down. They do not know what they are missing on!
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