Reading Fiction 101: Misconceptions, Important Benefits & Must-Reads for You

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With the view that non-fiction provides more knowledge and fiction isn’t educational, people have a lot of misconceptions about reading fiction. However, misconceptions are meant to be broken. In this blog, together we will burst these myths and give you a list of must-read fiction books to add to your already long enough TBR list. 

In India, more urban people today are moving towards books for knowledge, self-help, or just for the fun of reading. 

From captivating adventures to heartfelt emotions, fiction has the remarkable ability to transport you to different worlds and expand your horizons. 

In the world of books, every book is equal. There is no discrimination. However, most people consider fiction to be a waste of time and effort that provides equal to no benefit to a person. 

There is still a huge portion of people who have misconceptions about reading fiction that need to be debunked. If you have not read fiction before you may find it less amusing. Let’s delve deep into them and bust them one by one.


Reading Fiction 101: Misconceptions, Benefits & Must-Reads for You

In a world where nonfiction and self-help books are hyped up, rather sometimes overhyped, fiction takes a backseat. Apart from the world of books, the general view of people is biased towards non-fiction books. Let’s delve deep into them and break them one by one.  


5 Misconceptions about Reading Fiction

1. Reading Fiction is mere escapism

The most common misconception you may have about reading fiction is that it is nothing more than a means of escaping reality.

But opposite to the misconception, fiction provides you an opportunity to explore different perspectives, cultures, and emotions which helps in expanding your understanding of the world.


2. Reading fiction is a waste of time

This one misconception is rather amusing. I’ve heard many say that fiction is nothing but story reading and you are just wasting your time reading it. However, I beg to differ. 

Fiction isn’t a waste of time, books never are. 

Reading fiction enhances your empathy and emotional intelligence. It stimulates your imagination and improves your critical thinking skills, all of this adds value to your life in terms of personal growth and success.

3. Reading Fiction is irrelevant 

‘Fiction doesn’t anyhow relate to someone’s personal life so it can’t help anyone.’

Many people believe that fiction is nothing in comparison to non-fiction when it comes to relevance. 

As a reader myself, I disagree. Fiction has the power to address important social issues. It has the power to initiate thought-provoking discussions and inspire meaningful change, which may not be possible for a layman to understand from a non-fiction book. 

The depth that a fiction book can provide along with easy language is incomparable with non-fiction which is written in factual terms. 


4. Reading Fiction is only for entertainment

While fiction can be highly entertaining, it offers much more than just entertainment. It allows you to explore complex human emotions, experiences, and dilemmas. Such tense emotions and experiences may ask you to look deep inside yourself and connect with what you truly feel. 

How you view these things and how would you feel if such things happened to you, are the questions that arise while reading fiction.  

It can take you to places and to the lives of people who you have never met or will never. You can dive deep into someone’s lifestyle and understand their perspective towards life. It offers you a whole new experience of life all from the comfort of your home.  


5. Reading fiction is for children or intellectuals only

Last but not least, the misconception that fiction is limited to certain age groups or to intellectual elites who read Shakespeare and Hemingway. 

This is not true at all. Fiction is for everyone, regardless of age or educational background. Books never judge you like people, they let you take your sweet time to dive deep into them, to experience them. Fiction captivates you, lets you engage, and enriches your life from all walks of life.


With all these misconceptions now busted, let’s move on to find some timeless fiction that’ll make you feel that fiction is never a waste of time or just for entertainment. Now you may even ask if there are any benefits of reading fiction apart from just vocabulary building and a good hold on spoken English. Well yes, there are many benefits.

5 Benefits of Reading Fiction Books

While the primary purpose of fiction is to entertain, its benefits extend far beyond simple enjoyment. Here are the numerous advantages of reading fiction and how it can enhance your life. 


1. Empathy and Understanding

One of the most significant benefits of reading fiction is its ability to cultivate empathy in you. Through the stories you read, you are exposed to diverse characters and their living experiences. This exposure allows you to gain a deeper understanding of the human condition, which broadens your perspectives and creates a more empathetic mindset.


2. Emotional Intelligence

Fictional narratives often help you to dive deep into complex emotions and relationships. By immersing yourself in these stories, you develop your emotional intelligence. You learn to identify, relate to, and navigate a wide range of emotions, ultimately strengthening your own emotional literacy and interpersonal skills.  

When you relate to any emotion in the book, you navigate how the character uses their emotion whether it’s in the wrong way or the right way. You get to live a situation without actually experiencing it.   


3. Escapism and Stress Reduction

In a fast-paced world filled with constant demands, reading fiction provides a much-needed escape. When you feel like your emotions are getting too much, it’s a way for you to escape into a fictional world, to take some time away from all the hard emotions, to temporarily detach. 

It can help you relax and reduce anxiety, making reading fiction a valuable form of self-care. 

4. Inspiration and Creativity

Fiction sparks your imagination and fuels your creativity. By immersing in different stories you are inspired to think creatively and develop your ideas. Fiction has a lot of genres for that aspect, be it fantasy, romantic, fantasy romance, magic realism, or any other.

These narratives challenge you to think beyond the boundaries of reality, opening up new possibilities and encouraging your innovative thinking.  


5. Cultural Understanding

Fiction can let you explore different cultures, times, and places. It provides you with a window into the experiences and perspectives of people from diverse backgrounds. You can live the lives of people you don’t know in real life or whom you may never know and can still understand how they live and feel. 

Through literature, you develop a greater appreciation and understanding of different cultures, breaking down barriers and fostering cultural empathy.

10 Must-Read Fiction Books For You 

Fiction has been prevalent since time immemorial. With a huge collection of fiction books all around the world, you’ll never be able to finish all of them even if you read every single second of your life. 

As they say, ‘A lifetime is never enough to read everything you want’. Making it easy for you to curate your fiction reading book, here are some must-read fiction books that 0you’ll love.


1. ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee

Set in the 1930s, To Kill a Mockingbird is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. It is a story about Finch, a young girl growing up in the racially divided town of Maycomb, Alabama. Through Scout’s innocent eyes, Harper Lee shows a world where racial inequality existed and how it felt. 

The book tackles themes of racial inequality, justice, and the loss of innocence.


2. ‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen

This classic romance novel tells the story of Elizabeth Bennet, a quick-witted and independent young woman, and her complicated relationship with the proud and wealthy Mr. Darcy.

It is a classic read for a reason. May not be everyone’s cup of tea, but once you get a hang of it, you’ll get to know that its grandeur is next to none.

Austen has a witty style of writing which is combined with her social commentary in the book. The book profoundly explores themes of love, marriage, and societal expectations in Georgian-era England.


3. ‘1984’ by George Orwell

It is a dystopian novel that explores the theme of political fiction. Set in a totalitarian society ruled by the Party and its enigmatic leader, Big Brother in the time frame of 1984.

It is the story of Winston Smith, a man who rebels against the Party’s surveillance and thought control. 

The book delves into themes of government manipulation, propaganda, and the power of language. It delves deep into how a totalitarian government writes and rewrites history as it suits them and their propaganda.

As a reader myself, I can assure you that even non-fiction readers would like this one, with a sharp contrast between today’s world and the world presented in the book. It’s an interesting take on how history is changed thoroughly by the winners of war. 


4. ‘Beloved’ by Toni Morrison

The book is set in post-Civil War America and is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. It tells the story of Sethe, a former slave, who along with her family was taken into slavery in America. The book revolves around the theme of slavery and the memories of her traumatic past. 

In the book, Morrison explores the lasting effects of slavery and the complexities of motherhood, identity, and memory. 


5. ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Often considered a masterpiece of magical realism. This epic novel follows the Buendía family over several generations in the fictional town of Macondo. 

Marquez, in the book, focuses on the theme of fantastical events, political turmoil, and familial struggles to create a rich and symbolic narrative.

Marquez was one of the first writers who wrote in magical realism. With a dreamy setup and the life of all the characters in the book, it’ll take you to a fantasy world where everything is unusual.

Now magic realism may not be everyone’s cup of tea with unusual things happening like raining eels from the sky, eating dirt, fire ants, and all. Pick this book if you’re ready to be in a dream world. 

6. ‘Moby Dick’ by Herman Melville

This classic novel tells the story of Captain Ahab’s obsessive quest for revenge against the great white whale, Moby Dick. With a unique story of a man taking revenge on an animal and that too a white whale, this book is quite amusing to read.

The book explores themes of obsession and human nature. Along with that, it shows how the destructive power of unchecked ambition can cause problems all around you.


7. ‘Brave New World’ by Aldous Huxley

A futuristic novel. Set in a future dystopian society, Huxley tries to portray a future world where technology, consumerism, and social conditioning have eliminated individuality and personal freedom. 

It examines themes of conformity, morality, and the dangers posed by a utopian vision that has gone wrong. With the advent of AI, humanoid robots, and rapid changes in technology these days, it becomes an interesting read that you may want to read. 


8. ‘The Great Gatsby’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Set in the extravagant 1920s, the novel portrays the life of Jay Gatsby and his pursuit of the American Dream. The American dream of being. 

It revolves around the youthful romance that Jay Gatsby had with Daisy Buchanan. 

Through the eyes of narrator Nick Carraway, Fitzgerald tells the story of Jay Gatsby, his neighbor. The book explores themes of love, wealth, social class, and the emptiness beneath the glitz and glamor of the Roaring Twenties. 

The book has already been adapted into a movie with the same name ‘The Great Gatsby’ starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby and Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan. 


9. ‘Wuthering Heights’ by Emily Bronte

This is a classic Gothic romance novel. It follows the intense and tumultuous relationship between Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw. The book revolves around both of them as they navigate their love life and how their love story destroyed their life and that of the people around them. 

The book delves into themes of love, revenge, and the destructive power of passion when it comes to love. 

A classic love story, absolutely different from Pride and Prejudice. With varying perceptions about this book, some people hate the characters while some love them. It’s like a paradox, you may like and hate at the same time, and you may cry for them and still loathe them. 

Try it for yourself.


10. ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ by Charles Dickens

Set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution, the novel projects the contrast between the lives of two men, Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton, and their involvement in the tumultuous events of the time. 

The book revolves around the themes of sacrifice, redemption, and the inherent goodness and evilness of humanity. 

These books offer a wide range of genres and themes, ensuring that there’s something for you to enjoy even if you like different genres. All these books have significantly influenced literature in the past and are continuing to do so. They are highly sought-after classics which makes them must-reads in your literary journey.


We live in a world where non-fiction often takes the spotlight and fiction sometimes gets a bad rap.

Books be they Fiction or nonfiction, all provide a certain kind of knowledge, be it real-life knowledge or technical knowledge, books have it all. 

If non-fiction is something that provides you with hard skills, then fiction is something that provides you with soft skills, they not only teach you about skills, they teach you about life as a whole, and they give you an experience as a whole. 

In conclusion, you need to dispel these misconceptions and recognize the value that reading fiction can bring to your life. It has the power to broaden your perspectives, deepen your understanding of humanity, and inspire you in ways that no other form of literature can. It provides you with what nonfiction can’t.

Books are books, no matter if they are fiction or nonfiction. You should cherish both in life.