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Eight Reasons to Read Fiction


I studied English as an undergraduate, and I’m taking a creative writing post-graduate course now … so you might think I’m a bit biased about the importance of reading fiction. But the truth is, getting into the habit of reading novels, short stories, even plays, can boost your work and your leisure time. Here’s how:

Work-Related Gains

    1. More Creative Thinking
      If you’re in advertising, blogging, copywriting, graphic design or a similar industry, you’ll know that a great idea is invaluable: it can be the factor that distinguishes a “meh” project from a “wow” project, regardless of the technical skill involved. Reading fiction gets you thinking creatively: reading classical literature can spark off ideas for an advertising metaphor, the structure of a blog post, or even a TV show (“Big Brother”, anyone?). 

If you drive to work, there are a huge number of audio books available.

Sinking into a novel is also a great way to spend your lunch hour: much more refreshing than simply surfing the net. If you can escape from the office, do.

Life-Related Gains

    1. The Ultimate Escape
      Feeling stressed, moody, miserable or lonely? Getting into a great novel is my sure-fire cure for any of these. It’s amazing how quickly you forget about what’s bothering you, as your mind is filled with intriguing characters and an exciting plot.
    2. Cheap or Free

If you’re on a very tight budget, here are six ways to get books cheap or free.

Reading literature from other countries, or “classics” from decades or centuries ago, can help you to see new things in life: the similarities and differences between your day-to-day life and that described in the novel can encourage you to think about different ways to live.

So when did you last read a novel? What are you reading at the moment? Do you love fiction, or do you think it’s a waste of time?

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