[Discussion Sunday] “I read books that matter.”

Discussion (1)

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.

Travel

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.

Friendship

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.

Escapism

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.

“Happiness”

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.

swirl (1)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!

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30 thoughts on “[Discussion Sunday] “I read books that matter.”

  1. Ugh, what a jerk! Yes, fiction books bring me happiness, allow me to live many lives, and have also made me a better person. People who read fiction are kinder, more empathetic people.
    If everyone read fiction, the world would literally be a better place. :]

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, he wasn’t rude in how he said it, but it really made me think about how lots of people might believe that.

      I completely agree! I feel like because we get to experience other people’s lives (basically) we understand situations and people in general better. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

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  2. YES YES ABSOLUTELY YES TO THIS. Books do matter, particularly fiction ones, because they teach us AND tell a story…and really, when you think about it, that’s seriously clever of them?!? Like half the time I don’t realise I’m learning stuff and I’ll finish a book and it STICKS because I’ve been told it in a fun way. One of my #1 reasons to read is to understand what it’s like to be someone else. :’) I mean, the thing with fiction readers is WE CAN LIVE THOUSANDS OF LIVES!! Which is so so exciting, right??! 😀

    This post is utter fantasticness. THAT IS ALL. *nods*

    Liked by 1 person

    • Books are clever that way, huh? I love that part. Reading is my absolute favorite way to learn. This year, in my AP World class, we were learning about ancient Rome and Greece and Egypt but I ALREADY KNEW IT thanks to Percy Jackson and Rick Riordan. I thank those geniuses for their contributions to my knowledge. The “living thousands of lives” is my absolute favorite because I get to travel on a very small budget (free if I go to the library) and experience so much without ever leaving the comfort of my home. I get to go inside of people’s heads and experience what it is like to be someone else! That is true magic right there. Thank you, and thanks for stopping by, Cait! 🙂

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  3. This happens to me all the time. A lot of people try to convince me that I should be reading “important books”. Something I’ve realized over time is that everyone seems to have a different idea of what “important books” are.

    To some people they’re classics, to others historical fiction, and to others still nonfiction, or even manga. I don’t see why I can’t apply this same logic to the books I read. They might not be important to the people who tell me otherwise, but they are important to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I definitely think fiction books matter. At least, it matters a lot to me. I don’t think non-fiction books will give me the same impact and influence fiction ones do. Of course, I think the former is really important, but then again, I think the debate of whether fiction or non-fiction books are better depends on the reader him/herself and how much it satisfies them the most. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think reading fiction (for me anyway) is a lot more fun, and so whatever I learn from them sill stick much more than if I had been reading, let’s say, a textbook. I’m so glad that people like different types of books, or else shelves (and people) would be very boring. Thanks for stopping by, Mara!

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  5. Great post! All books matter regardless of the genre, as they each bring a different kind of ‘spark’. When it comes to fiction though, I only think that it loses value when you’re reading the same kind of books (in terms of linguistics and content) that you have read for years. I kind of think of reading as a learning process, in which you discover new genres and open your horizons along the way. As for your dad, who probably doesn’t have as much time to let his mind wander off into different dimensions and meet new characters, goes straight to the source of this learning to learn “directly”, which I assume is what happens with many adults. Fiction is somewhat more of a guilty-pleasure reading and, like u said, for escapism. But they’re still valuable, because they provide the imagination and creativity that non-fiction books may not be able to inspire in us.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think any book matters, whether it be fiction or non. I read both, and I enjoy both very much. Sometimes I learn more from fiction, than non-fiction. I’ve read a few novels where the author has taken a real fact and made a fictional story around those facts. I love those, they are my absolute favourite because I learn so much. I’ve learned about cults that way, and about hunting elephants for their tusks. I think it’s all about perspective and what you, the person reading it take away from whatever it is you read. 🙂

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  7. I think all genres are important and can be inspirational, but fiction has allowed me to see certain things that I may have overlooked in passing in my life. There’s just something about stepping into someone’s story and seeing it from their -or the authors- point of view that makes you look at things different. You might find yourself inspired to change something in your own life because of a character that you could find yourself relating to. Great discussion, Aubrey!

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