I very much enjoy reading fiction. Some would say that you can’t learn anything from fiction and that its purely for entertainment–and therefore a waste of time. But that is not true. You can learn a great deal from reading fiction. It isn’t an “in your face” left-brained type of learning consisting of lists, bullet points, or graphs. You learn from fiction in a more drawn out, reflective type of way. You have to think about the characters and why they do what they do. You have to think about what you would do in the same situation. You have to let the images described by the author sink into your mind and try to figure out why he describes something as he does–try to see it through his eyes; this allows you to see things from a new perspective and to broaden your outlook on this world.
Below is an article I like from “The Art of Manliness” website.
Give it a read…
Why Men Should Read More Fiction
At the Art of Manliness, we encourage our readers to read books. It’s through reading that we gain new perspectives and learn more about ourselves and the world around us. I’m a big believer in the saying that “Readers are leaders.” As I’ve studied the lives of great men throughout history, a common thread I’ve found is that most were bibliophiles who relentlessly pursued self-education throughout their entire lives.
While many men have stacks of books accumulating on their “to-read” pile, chances are that pile is composed primarily of non-fiction tomes. For the past 20 years or so, the publishing industry has noted a precipitous decline in the number of men reading fiction. Some reports show that men make up only 20% of fiction readers in America today.
There are a lot of reasons thrown around as to why many men today don’t read fiction. Perhaps they had a bad experience with it in high school and swore they’d never read a novel again as long as they lived. It’s possible that the male brain is just naturally more drawn to the straightforward, fact-driven nature of non-fiction. And some have suggested that men are getting their storytelling fix from the many excellent narrative non-fiction books that have come out in the past decade (e.g., The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, Into Thin Air).
Whatever the reason, cognitive studies are beginning to show that men might be short-shifting themselves by avoiding the fiction section in the bookstore and library. Today we make the case for why you need to put down those business books every once in awhile and pick up a copy of Hemingway.