Horrifingly, several times in my library career I’ve been utterly dumbfounded to hear customers say they don’t read novels. What?!!! After several breathless squeaks followed by a bout of dismayed spluttering, I’ve asked why ever not?
The puzzling reply has always been that they read for knowledge, want real facts and don’t have time to waste on make-believe or fantasy (I feel a panic attack coming on just writing these horrid words).
Goodness me, do real facts even exist? There has to be some room for doubt given all we’ve heard about fabricated memoirs ( Yeah, you James Frey), optimistically embellished science and medical research (Ben Goldacre) and if we accept history is written by the victors, the whole truth schtick is looking a bit shaky.
I am on a mission to convert non-fiction readers to fiction. Throw away your computer manuals, biff interpretative history and say adiós to self-help bibles, but I need you, our faithful blog readers, to provide the compelling and irrefutable reasons for why fiction does matter.
To get you started here is my 10 cents worth:
- Novels are steeped in human truths, often with immaculately researched and detailed plots embedded in real events.
- Good novelists provide the creative spark which can allow fact to take flight, taking readers into the interior lives of both real and imagined people.
- And finally, isn’t it healthy to walk in other people’s shoes ( Jimmy Choos and Hush Puppies) and attempt to see life through other people’s eyes, or from another perspective?
Fiction lovers bring it on … why should we all read fiction?
More: Why I still love reading fiction Roberta