The team here at Basmo is not only dedicated to pushing you beyond your current limits in terms of reading performance, but also to keeping you informed. That is why we prepared a complete list of benefits of reading fiction books that I am sure you are going to find useful and quite informative.
The first thing to look into is what fiction actually is.
What is fiction?
By its definition, fiction is a type of literature (usually prose) that describes completely imaginary events and stories. As a literary style, it contains a huge variety of genres and subgenres, and it provides the readers with a much-needed escape from reality.
Why do we read fiction?
Why we read it is quite obvious. The reading fiction benefits I will be listing below speak for themselves and will paint quite a revealing picture of the reasons why fiction has been a part of our reading habits for centuries. Fiction is a testament to humankind’s creativity, a way for writers to express their wildest thoughts, ideas, and fantasies, and a hugely entertaining experience for readers.
Is reading fiction good for you?
Without a doubt, reading fiction is extremely beneficial. And not only that, but it can also be quite fun and entertaining. Letting ourselves be immersed in the imaginary worlds the author created can be a wholesome experience, one that is hard to replace by anything else at our disposal.
There are several areas of our lives that can see improvements if we get into the habit of reading fiction novels, and I will list them all below.
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What are the benefits of reading fiction?
While non-fiction might seem like a more educational and overall more beneficial genre to spend time on, the truth is that reading fiction can help us in a very varied number of ways. Here are the most relevant reading novel benefits.
1. Fiction improves empathy
By exposing us to imaginary situations and providing us with significant insight into the characters’ ways of thinking, fiction can help us gain important life experiences from the comfort of our couch, without having to put any effort into it. Reading fiction has been found to improve empathy and make us more understanding of others.
2. Helps us disengage
One of the most effective ways to decompress and relax is to remove the stressors from our lives. That is usually much easier said than done. Eliminating stressors is not even an option all the time. Sometimes the best thing we can do is to simply try and forget about them for a little while. That is where reading fiction becomes a very powerful and useful tool because fiction has the power to take us to imaginary worlds where our problems don’t exist. We can use fiction to escape our daily lives for a while.
3. Improves sleep quality
Considering the fact that stress affects us in more ways than we can imagine, we shouldn’t be surprised to learn that we sleep worse when we are stressed. The fact that reading fiction helps us decrease the levels of stress before going to bed means that we will get more rest and that we will sleep a lot better if our night-time routine includes a reading session.
4. Fiction novels simulate reality
Fiction novels sometimes tell us imaginary stories that could actually happen in real life, unless we are talking about science fiction. Reading about imaginary events and situations that are believable and could actually take place, but don’t, can count towards accumulating valuable life experience to a certain extent. You get to imagine what you would do in a similar situation, you get to read how and why the characters react to certain scenarios, and you can learn quite a lot.
5. Reading fiction delays or prevents mental decline
Research has shown that reading fiction on a regular basis can delay or prevent age-related cognitive decline. Reading fiction is a great way for us to give our brains a nice workout every now and then. This keeps our brain agile and in great shape, which in turn helps us avoid the onset of mental decline, memory loss, or even diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
6. Helps you be more open-minded
Reading fiction develops the way we think and act. It can help us become more mindful and more aware of others’ emotions, and it can help us be more open-minded. Fiction exposes us to different stories and situations we can learn a lot from and it can change the way we see things in general. The life experience we gain while reading fiction usually translates into a more open mind and higher flexibility in tough situations.
7. Improves imagination
Reading novels benefits the way our mind works in more ways than one. Our imagination can be significantly improved by reading fiction. The interesting stories, the fact that we are left to use our mind’s eye to recreate the appearance of characters, and the locations where the action takes place helps our imagination develop. We become more creative, we manage to think outside the box more and better, and to come up with more efficient solutions to our problems.
8. Develops vocabulary and communication skills
Reading improves vocabulary, by constantly exposing us to new words and sayings. What’s even more interesting is that fiction in particular can have a positive effect on our ability to communicate. That’s mainly because pretty much any fiction novel we will read will also contain dialogue. By reading dialogues and seeing how the imaginary conversations are going, we can learn a lot about the way we are supposed to communicate efficiently. That, alongside the fact that our vocabulary becomes richer with every book we read, can seriously turn us into conversation wizards.
9. Helps us live longer
Research has shown that people who are into the habit of reading fiction generally live longer than those who are not. Reading fiction reduces stress, helps us sleep better, keeps our brains in good shape, prevents age-related cognitive decline, and has several health benefits, all of which in turn help us live longer, happier lives.
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What are the benefits of reading science fiction?
Science fiction is more than just a fun way to pass the time. It can provide readers with a wide series of benefits that go way beyond stress relief and entertainment.
1. Improves emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence is defined as one’s ability to relate to others, understand their feelings and thoughts, and use this ability to better communicate and interact with those around them. Reading science fiction books can have a positive effect on our emotional intelligence. That’s because we are presented with incredible stories that force us to imagine what life would be like if they were true.
This expands our view of the world, pushes our imagination beyond its limits, and enhances the way we understand others.
2. Helps you cope better with real life
Having little or no connection with the reality of our daily lives, science fiction is the genre that can be the most effective in providing us with an escape. By allowing us to be immersed in an alternative reality and enjoying the imaginary adventures of the characters, we tend to disconnect from our daily routines.
This dissociation technique is a great tool for relieving stress and learning to cope with the constant pressure we are under in our day-to-day lives without getting overwhelmed. Learning to cope with the rhythm of our lives can help us prevent meltdowns and burnouts.
3. Teaches you to think outside the box
By enhancing our imagination and making us more creative, reading science fiction also improves our ability to think outside the box. We are generally limited in our thinking by walls and boundaries we set ourselves. Science fiction novels show us that there is no limit to what the imagination is capable of and we slowly educate ourselves to start tearing down the walls.
Thinking outside the box usually means having better problem-solving skills, it can help us come up with efficient solutions quicker, and it can help us tremendously both in our careers and in our daily lives.
Does reading fiction make you smarter?
Even though the improvement to mental abilities is usually associated with non-fiction, the truth is that one of the most important benefits of reading fiction books is the fact that it can actually make you smarter.
Of course, it depends a bit on what you actually understand by “smarter”. Reading fiction can make you more knowledgeable, it can improve mental abilities, problem-solving skills, emotional intelligence, communication abilities, and emotional intelligence. If any of these or all of them fall under your own definition of being smart, then yes, reading fiction definitely can make you smarter.
How to read more fiction with Basmo
Now that you are aware of all the most important benefits of reading novels and fiction in general, you’re probably wondering what you can do to read more of it. Well, the answer could be a lot simpler than you might expect. Using a reading tracking app like Basmo can seriously improve the length, efficiency, and frequency of your reading sessions.
With Basmo you can schedule your reading
Being organized is a very important aspect of having healthy reading habits.
With Basmo, you can create a reading schedule to match your daily needs. The scheduling feature is flexible and you can choose the exact days of the week for your sessions and different times on each day. That way you can easily work around your routine to find time for reading fiction.
You can create reading lists
Being organized is a very important aspect of having healthy reading habits.
With Basmo, you can create as many reading lists as you want and you can organize them however you see fit. The customizable lists allow you to create separate TBR lists for different genres so you can always choose a title that matches your expectations.
You can annotate books without ruining them
Even though reading fiction is usually not associated with an actual learning process, we often find ourselves looking for ways to write notes or annotate the novels we are reading. There is a lot of important information hidden between the pages of fiction books and we sometimes need a bit of help to retain as much of it as we would like.
With Basmo, annotating books or writing notes is easy and quick every time a reading session is ongoing.
Basmo helps you set reading goals
Any attempt to improve starts with setting clear goals and reading fiction is no different.
With Basmo, you can easily set different goals depending on what your targets are. You can set a daily goal for the number of minutes you spend reading or a big-picture goal for the number of books you go through within a year. Or both, the choice is yours.
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Reading fiction is highly beneficial and perhaps even more importantly, it’s fun! Enjoy all the benefits of reading novels with Basmo and become a better, more accomplished reader today.
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