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What Benefit Does Reading Fictional Books Have?

Updated on February 21, 2022
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Nyamweya is a Kenyan scholar who has done many years of research on a diversity of topics.

Much has been said about the value of reading fiction, educational books and both. However, there are those who prefer reading fiction that educational books and vice versa. While fiction may be entertaining and help in easing day to-day pressure, educational books are also quite necessary especially for those who are still learning or in training. It is through reading such books that the learner will enhance the knowledge gained. Nonetheless, a scrutiny of the two forms of narratives showcases that both are essential in different perspectives.

There are those who argue that fiction is only for entertainment purposes and that reading it is a waste of precious time. However, what these people do not know is that much can also be learnt from reading fiction. This may explain why many nations across the world stipulate fiction literature as part of the educational curriculum. Indeed, a part from finding pleasure from reading the works of fiction, many of these works also presents knowledge concerning our lives, our history, roots and common wisdom. For instance, some of the best novels and stories contain the kind of life wisdom which cannot easily be captured in other ways. An article by wordpress (1) explains that the human condition is contradictory and complex, and that many of the fiction books reveal that complexity. Therefore, it may not be possible to ignore fiction books since we need them for our pleasure and knowledge.

Similarly, educational books are equally important to enhance ones knowledge in different aspects. Right from elementary level through high school and to college, no learner can afford to ignore reading educational books. Apart from gaining the necessary knowledge in the area of study, they are important in enhancing vocabulary of the subject under study. According to Nagy and Townsend (65) a deeper comprehension of words depends on harboring related content knowledge. Furthermore, educational books help a learner to know things that are either impractical or impossible to first-hand experience. What is more, they also allow a learner in seeing things that they might have not known even when first hand access to information is possible.

Fiction and education books can be said to be complimentary to one another. This is even more revealed by Simmons who points out that the human complexity is better brought up in fiction (11). For example, educational books cannot have emotional reactions, human characterizations and even the dark side of humanity as it is possible with fiction. The author chides some of the curriculums such as the common core standards which push students to become masters of academic jargon and crafters of arguments while failing to discuss or acknowledge emotional responses to literature which is part of humanity. The consequence has been the nurturing of learners most of who are inundated with movies, video games, memes and so on to be deprived of their emotional make up. Without learning fictitious abstractions by relying only on educational books, students may be restrained to doing only analytical work expected of them without interference of a relevant emotional response. According to the author, this should not be so and an emotional response ought to be included in the curriculum so as to make an all rounded person.

The essence of this discussion has been to reiterate the necessity of reading both fiction and educational books. This is because both of them are important in their own perspective and can at times comprehend one another. In this regard, it is important that educationalists especially the kindergarten teachers provide more balance between fiction books and educational ones in their learning programs. With this approach, the learner will have an opportunity to integrate with information obtained from the fiction and to critically analyze the fiction to show inferences about the theme, lesson and behavior. Therefore, reading both fiction and educational books is not only necessary but beneficial.


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