Have you ever heard the phrase – ‘Reading fiction is a waste of time’? For most people, engaging with stories and poetry means leisure reading. But if you have seen Dead Poet’s Society, you know what Robin Williams would say, don’t you?
‘Medicine, law, business, engineering, are noble pursuits necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.’Robin Williams, Dead Poets Society
So why don’t we go ahead and burst the myth about reading fiction?
FICTION HELPS YOU LAND JOB OPPORTUNITIES
Some of the most valued skills recruiters look for are empathy, creative problem-solving, and self-awareness. Reading books helps strengthen several cognitive muscles, especially the emotional quotient [EQ]. Fiction or literary stories hone these muscles. Because it makes you aware of your social surroundings and helps you comprehend varied perspectives. In other words, it opens your mind to things you were not aware of before – a necessity to build on the ability to make decisions.
IT RESONATES WITH YOU
Have you ever been in a position when you cannot express what you feel? The total agony of not being able to voice your thoughts. And then you read something Dostoyevsky wrote years ago, ending up providing you words – also comforting you that he at some point felt the same. Hence, fiction helps you normalize the uncertainty that exists in life. It also teaches you expression. Often, we fail at words, and showcasing our thoughts via quotes/ phrases helps us explain things better. Therefore, reading fiction becomes an answer to many questions and ambiguities.
FICTION DESTRESSES YOU
There is only so much brainpower we have. Towards the end of a tiring day, fiction can become your solace. Reading motivational/ self-help books takes you back to your daily tasks of building habits and achieving goals. But reading stories disengages you from your monotonous life and opens up a whole new arena of imagination and endless possibilities. It helps you relax and can become a very healthy activity before going to bed.
UNCERTAINITY LEADS TO CREATIVITY
If you are an artist or are fond of art, you know how integral fiction is. Listening to stories stimulates your creative mind and makes you prone to the anticipation that exists. It enables you to look into others’ psyche and analyze how they find solutions to their lives. Hence, providing you with an entirely new lens through which to look at life. And that is something you can make your own and execute in your art. Reading stories is the first step to weaving stories.
IT LEADS TO CONSTRUCTIVE DISCUSSIONS
Who doesn’t like to read and express their perspectives about the same? However, it is hard to find individuals who have read the same story as you. That is why there are book clubs. Contrary to the name, they do not solely focus on books of a particular kind. They discuss short stories, articles, and ideas. And how does it help? Book Clubs are a great way to initiate conversations about your favourite piece of writing and bond with strangers over the written word. For example: If you read The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde and wish to discuss the dark academia aesthetic, you can join a book club and start talking or listening. Discussion about themes highlighted in fiction leads to new-found perspectives and open-mindedness.
Empowr Club aims to provide you with a wide-open space to do so for everything. And the best part is that the app is free. So, register here, and explore the book clubs to join conversations happening across the globe: