Looking at the stats, adult non-fiction outsells adult fiction more than 2-to-1. Why? Well, my motivation for asking is obviously self-serving, but it’s also just a curiosity. Do you read fiction? If you listen to Tim Ferriss, he says you shouldn’t be reading a lot of non-fiction and that you should be reading fiction before bed. Again, why? When we look at movie sales, we obviously appreciate fiction (and fantastical) stories more than non-fiction. And, again, why?
What’s the point of fiction? Why do we tell fictional stories? Why do we listen to (or watch) fictional stories?
Last year, research showed that reading fiction might make you more empathetic, reading fiction makes you smarter, and I’ve written before about the power of stories. But, where do stories come from? Why is this a part of the human experience?
I contend that the soul yearns for an alternate reality. Life is hard, the world is harsh and sometimes we want to pretend that the world is different. Fiction is our way of shaping our world into what we want. As an author, my stories are my way of working through and solving problems in my own life, even if the dream solution only happens in the story.
What do you think? Is fiction valuable? What’s the value of story? Do you read fiction? Leave your answers in the comments below.