Learning Through Fiction

So, I’m talking to my sister yesterday about how I was up until nearly 2 am, reading, the night before.  I started watching a movie (The Welldigger’s Daughter – French, subtitles, very good), and then tried to go to sleep but kept visualizing upsetting things.

So, I reached for a book.  I’m currently reading the 6th book in the Outlander series, An Echo In the Bone.  I had planned to take a break from the series (since I’m a bit obsessed) and read something else, but the end of book five was too good and I already had book six at hand, so well, here I am.   Anyhoo…

My sister does not read fiction.  God love her.  She thinks it’s “a waste of time”.  To a total fiction junkie, I am not exaggerating when I say that I felt something akin to pain when she made this statement.

I’m actually aghast that anyone can think this way, but evidently, she isn’t the only one.  This guy, a self-professed former non-fiction snob is working his way through Time Magazine’s 100 Greatest Novels.  As a result, he doesn’t feel the same way about fiction anymore.  I love these words of his…

How cool is it to think that we can pick up a book and read words that came out of the minds of the greatest writers who ever existed? Only the most naïve person would say that we can’t learn something from that.

There’s something inspiring about how these writers take nothing and make something out of it—characters, locales, plotlines, settings. The creativity involved in that, to me, is astounding.

Yes!  The point he makes is that both genres teach but in different ways.  I actually enjoy non-fiction too, but in a much different way.  I rarely read a non-fiction book cover to cover.  I jump around, looking for the bits of info that I feel are relevant to me.   In a fiction book, I get lost.  It’s like another world.

In a fiction book, a story, I get lost.  It’s like another world.  The characters become alive and real.  It’s akin to a really good television show.  Hubby makes fun of me because I say I have to get back to my book or a good tv show because “things are happening without me”.  That’s how I feel.  Likes these characters lives are going on and if I’m not reading about it or watching it…I’m missing out.

What about you?  Do you love a good story with rich characters in a place that you could never have imagined for yourself?  Or do you want to read something more informational that is more straight-forward?