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8 reasons to read more fiction
8 reasons to read more fiction

Research proves that fictional stories are better for the brain than real ones.

8 reasons to read more fiction
8 reasons to read more fiction

1. Developed empathy

Reading fiction develops empathy and helps you imagine yourself in the place of another. This is due to the fact that the brain processes read and real information in the same way.

The left temporal lobe, which is responsible for language perception, makes the brain think that it is doing what the hero of the work is actually doing. This phenomenon is known as embodied cognition. As we read, we literally move into the character's body.

Through fiction, we stop focusing on ourselves and begin to understand the behavior and motivation of others.

2. Freedom from stereotypes

Literature demonstrates the laws by which society operates and increases tolerance towards minorities and the oppressed.

In one study, fifth graders read excerpts from Harry Potter. The teacher helped them analyze the text, which traced Harry Potter's loyal position towards Mudbloods - students born in Muggle families. After three lessons, the children became more tolerant of immigrants, homosexuals and refugees.

3. Resignation to uncertainty

Stability is a myth, but it doesn't bother aficionados of novels. Research has shown that people who read fictional stories have less need for cognitive certainty than people who read nonfiction.

In the experiment, 100 students from the University of Toronto read one of eight stories or one of eight essays. After that, everyone filled out a questionnaire assessing the level of their emotional need for certainty and stability. The results showed that participants who read stories had a better understanding of chaos and instability. This means that they think broader and approach problem solving in a creative way.

4. Rich imagination and imaginative thinking

“The author writes only half of the book. The other half is written by the reader,”said the classic of English literature Joseph Conrad. A good writer doesn't really tell everything, but only the essentials, forcing the reader to use his imagination. The appearance and past of the characters, the setting, the smells, the timbre of the voice - as directors filming a film adaptation, we often think out the details ourselves.

If you find it hard to fantasize, take on fiction. She will stir your imagination.

5. Healthy sleep and strong nerves

Retreating into a fictional reality is beneficial to anyone experiencing stress, but a book is the most effective remedy. Research shows that just six minutes of reading lowers your heart rate and relaxes your muscles by 68%. By comparison, listening to music calms you 61%, walking 42%, and playing video 21%.

Reading is ideal before bed. It distracts, relaxes, and helps you fall asleep.

6. Solid memory and logic

To remember all the characters in "War and Peace" and to understand the twists and turns of the plot, you need not only strong nerves, but also developed memory and logic. By making your way through a complex romance, you are extending the life of your brain.

It has been proven that avid readers in old age are 32% less likely to suffer from Alzheimer's disease.

The longer your chosen piece, the better your brain works.

7. Rich vocabulary

Research results show a direct relationship between the amount of fiction read and vocabulary. The table shows the results of a survey of 30-year-old readers.

Reading habits Vocabulary, words
Read a lot, a lot of fiction 29 558
Read a lot, sometimes fiction 28 299
Read a lot, rarely fiction 24 064
Read sometimes, sometimes fiction 23 353
Read sometimes, fiction rarely 21 947
Rarely read, fiction rarely 12 402

If you want to speak beautifully, read fiction. So you will learn to better formulate thoughts and tell stories, get rid of formulaic phrases in speech and writing.

8. New friends and discoveries

Fiction introduces us to people and sends us on adventures that we lack in real life. Characters become our friends, models of behavior and advisers. We argue with them, hate and support them. In doing so, we experience real emotions. Reading literature, we not only move away from reality, but gain new experience.

Journalist and producer Lisa Boo talked at a TED conference about how books helped her weather the crisis and open up new opportunities.

Fiction teaches to understand others, empathize and compassion. It stimulates the imagination and enriches vocabulary. Connoisseurs of fiction are broader, open to new experiences and creative problem-solving. And most importantly, they are more balanced and sleep better.