Great Reasons to Read Fiction
In this very good article, Mary DeMuth gives us ten reasons, lots of good quotes, and penetrating insight into why reading fiction can be better than reading fact! Here are her 10 reasons with a few quotes sprinkled in:
1. Our view of the world beyond our door widens.
2. We learn empathy as you walk in a character’s different-sized shoes.
In The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon, I understood more about autism through Christopher’s eyes than if I had simply watched a documentary about the condition. Fiction plunges us into people. I am Scout in wide-eyed wonder outside a lone jail
3. God uses stories to heal.
4. Fiction unmasks us.“Everyone has secrets,” says novelist Susan May Warren. “Fiction allows people to see themselves in characters, to discover healing and truth when their ‘reputation’ or shame won’t let them pick up a non-fiction book…”
5. God’s redemptive story permeates. When I read The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini in its stark, horrific, life-altering prose, I clearly saw redemption. It can’t help but shine on such a dark tableau. God’s stories are everywhere.
6. Novels allow for paradox, causing us to ask the kinds of questions that help us search for God. Barbara Nicolosi writes, “Too many Christians think we are supposed to use the arts to give people the answers. We’re not. We’re supposed to use the arts to lead them into a question. And that is just one stage in their personal journey of divine revelation.
7. Reading novels critically helps us navigate the Scriptures better. “Because the Bible is a text, a well-read, sophisticated interpreter will have an easier time parsing difficult passages—not to mention easy ones,” asserts J. Mark Bertrand, author of Rethinking Worldview. “This is why, in seminaries and law schools, there ought to be an emphasis on reading ‘outside the discipline.’
8. Reading a novel connects us to the Creator
9. Reading a novel builds community.
10. Reading stories brings us face to face with Jesus, the grand storyteller.