When I was younger I used to read tons of fiction. Then around high school I struggled to find good books to read. I wanted to keep reading and tried sports biographies for awhile (John Harkes, David Beckham, Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley are the ones I can remember). Really reading became more of a chore than an enjoyment.
Then came college. I didn’t have much time for non-assigned reading. Though there were a few times when I’d sneak down in a stairwell and fly through a book that a professor recommended. For awhile I got into the habit of reading a book I chose the last 15 minutes before I went to bed. I was surprised how quickly I made it through a few books just doing that. Then came grad school and the workload increased and forced me to become a faster reader. I also started to find more books that I really enjoyed reading – most of them were non-fiction. It wasn’t until I was given a kindle that I started reading by choice and in volume and reading fiction.
Since then I’ve found that I enjoy fiction. It is a good way to relax but still involves more mental energy than surfing the internet or watching TV. It is also a great way to learn about new cultures. One of the best examples of that recently was Island of the World. I got to the end and felt as if I’d seen a whole world of which I’d been completely ignorant before.
So is fiction worth reading? I’d say yes. It is a window into the world. It stretches your own thinking. It engages your mind. And usually it is enjoyable!
Do you read fiction? What do you read? Why do you read?