The other day, I casually pointed out to my father that we read completely different genres of books. I had been looking through the books on the coffee table and saw all of the stacks of work related (*cough* boring) non-fiction books.
He replied by saying “I read books that matter.” (He wasn’t rude about it, just said it like he was stating a fact.) “What do you mean?” I said. “I read books that actually help me with life,” he responded. “Well, I read books that bring me happiness.” I said defensively and then retreated to my room (AKA fortress).
But that is just the thing…
What makes people think fiction books don’t matter?
Seriously? I would be a very different human being without them. Sure, it might not seem as useful to the less educated people of the world, but books teach me so much and they make me “happy” so I would say they certainly matter.
Books teach me:
What it’s like to be someone else
They widen my world view and force me to experience life in someone else’s shoes. I have learned so much about what it is like to live in other places around the world or different family situations.
Books allow me to travel to new worlds or cities that I would never (at least right now) be able to go to otherwise. They say “a reader lives a thousand lives” and that is most definitely true.
There are some of the best friendships ever in books. Also, it is super easy to learn that you can’t expect the world out of your friends because no one is perfect. People make mistakes, characters make mistakes, and although it is a hard concept to grasp BOOKS TEACH US THESE THINGS.
The world can’t always be a fairy tale
(“The world is not a wish granting factory”)
Those who are less educated in the book world may think that books are all ice cream and sunsets and always the “prince invites poor girl to ball” situations. There are a few of those, don’t get me wrong, but most of the time books make you feel things. There is a reason why booklovers refer to “feels” all of the time: it’s because books make you feel all of the feels.
I enjoy escaping from everyday life into books. It is really relaxing to me and I love it (you could say I’m an escape artist–one of my many talents). Falling into a good book and experiencing someone else’s life for a few minutes (okay, hours) is (I guess it depends on the book, but for now I’m gonna say) wonderful.
Now we are back to this. It isn’t completely true. Yes, books make me happy. A lot. BUT, they also make me mad and make me sob my eyes out and they make me feel things. When I read, I am experiencing a character’s life, and so, you know I experience their life. And since life isn’t always icecream and sunsets, it isn’t always happy, but that isn’t the point.
So, although it might not matter to some people because it doesn’t directly teach me to build a car (just an example), I learn so much in every book while not realizing it and while enjoying (for the most part) myself and thus LIFE.
How about you? Has this ever happened to you? Do you think fiction books matter? This is a discussion, so I would love to, you know, discuss!