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Benefits of Reading Fiction

Updated on January 7, 2017

It Grows Your Brain

Reading any type of book, including fictional books, allows your to use your brain, which causes you to produce more brain cells. Studies have shown that when you read, your left temporal cortex, the part of your brain involved in understanding language, actually gets bigger, and so does your central sulcus, which is the part of your brain involved in visualizing movement.

Tranquility and Stress Reduction

Reading fiction is a wonderful way to relax at the end of the day, or anytime throughout the day when you have a few spare moments. It gets your mind off your troubles by transporting you into an imaginary world. According to studies, reading can even help you sleep better if you do it right before bedtime.

Reading Helps You Remember Things
Reading Helps You Remember Things

Improves Your Memory

Reading stimulates your mind, because in order to follow a plot, you need to remember the names of the characters and places, where each character is at any given time, what they are doing, and why they are doing it. You need to form new mental associations, for example, between the names of the characters and their motives, their personalities, their important possessions, and/ or their physical appearances.

Your memory will improve over time, the more you read. Studies have shown that reading may even prevent Alzheimer's.

You Can Focus Better

Reading fiction increases your analytical thinking skills because as you read, you will naturally want to figure out what's going to happen next, who did something, or how the characters might get out of a dangerous situation. It helps you concentrate better so you can understand what's going on in the story. It also improves your self-discipline, since you have to keep reading to discover how the plot unfolds.

This increased focus carries over to other areas in your life as well, and can help you follow a conversation, learn something new, or complete a project. If you are a student, reading will help you focus on your studies, and thus do better in school.

Readers Make Excellent Writers!
Readers Make Excellent Writers!

Makes You a Better Writer

If you like to write fiction, reading fiction can expand your imagination, giving you ideas for your writing. It can also augment your vocabulary and improve your spelling, which in turn will make it easier to write well, regardless of the genre of your work.

Here is a Video I Found on the Benefits of Reading Fiction

Helps You Appreciate the World Around You

Reading fiction allows you to experience life from other perspectives. If the book you are reading features a main character much different than yourself, you can learn about such a character's point of view. This can expand your reality and help you understand other cultures and religions, and in turn, possibly help you to understand yourself.

Also, since fictional books often provide detailed descriptions of people, places, and objects, you can begin to notice such details in the real world. Once you pay attention to the small stuff in everyday items, you can begin to see the beauty in them and gain a deeper appreciation for everyday things.

If the book you are reading is one with pictures, such as a children's book or comic book, you can acquire an appreciation for art as well, especially if the illustrations are exceptionally well done.

Makes You More Empathetic

Studies have shown that reading literary fiction can make you more empathetic. When reading a fictional novel, chapter book, or short story, it is often natural to care about the characters and become somehow attached to them. You may hope that the characters are able to get through certain perils unharmed, or accomplish their goal that they have been working towards. You might feel a little sad if something bad happens to a character that you have come to care about. This is emotional transportation.

Empathizing with a fictional character can even improve your EQ, which is your emotional IQ, or your ability to understand how a person is feeling.

You Should Read Books!

Reading Books Makes You Smarter
Reading Books Makes You Smarter

Now Lets Hear From You:

How Often Do You Read Fiction?

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Improves the Quality of Your Conversations

Reading gives you something to talk about. You can ask the person you are talking to if they have read a certain book, or you can tell them about a book you are reading and what you like about it.

Another way reading can improve your conversations is if you have learned something from reading a book, such as increased vocabulary, cultural understanding, understanding of political views, or historical knowledge. Any of these can help you understand a conversation revolving around such topics, and can make you appear more knowledgeable.

Also, if you are in a group of people where everyone has read a certain book, you don't want to feel left out. Just recently, I went to a potluck, and was talking to a group of about six or seven acquaintances. They were talking about the "Game of Thrones" book series. at the time, I hadn't read any of the books and I felt left out because I couldn't contribute much to the conversation. Of course, the very next day, I started reading the first book.

Makes You a Better Reader

The more you do something, the better you get at it. This goes for anything, and applies to reading as well. The more you read, the better a reader you will be. You need to stay in practice if you want to be able to read fast and easily comprehend what you are reading. You never know when your reading skills will come in handy.

Inexpensive, Portable Entertainment

Reading can be fun. I have always liked to read, especially a good fictional story. It can help you pass the time if you have a long time to wait, such as in a hospital waiting room, a long train ride, or a plane ride.

Also reading is inexpensive. Books are cheaper than going to a movie, and they provide more hours of entertainment. Plus they are portable. You can take them anywhere. So go grab a book today!

Your Latest Fictional Experience

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    • renee21 profile image

      renee21 20 months ago

      I love reading fiction. My favorite fiction to read is inspirational Christian romance, such as the Love Inspired books, or fantasy novels. I also like to write Christian romance. I'm currently writing a romance novel as well.