Do We Learn More When We Read More?
Yes. We learn more when we read more — whether nonfiction or fiction.
It never ceases to amaze me how many people do not read.
Sure, many of those people will read some stuff online or in an occasional magazine. But books — fiction or nonfiction? No.
As a writer — this is deeply disappointing. But like most things in life — this is a choice. And I cannot make choices for anyone at all other than myself.
Though I have, at times, been less of a reader — I’ve always loved to read. Now that I take time for reading daily — both fiction and nonfiction — I feel that it’s rather advantageous to my life.
How and why? Because the more I read, the more that I learn.
This is true of both fiction and nonfiction, but for different reasons. And because I know we learn more when we read more — and that can do a lot for our overall life experience — I am sharing thoughts on that here.
What fiction teaches me
Let’s begin with the less obvious. Learning more from fiction.
Right off the bat, I’d like to clarify something. In this instance, I am not writing about learning lessons from the fiction itself (like from Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist). What I am focusing on in this instance is how reading fiction from others informs my craft.
I have recently read KB Wagers’ Indranan War and Farian War trilogies (both of which I highly recommend). Also, I have been working through Joel Shepherd’s Spiral Wars series. Presently, I’m nearing the end of NK Jemison’s award-winning Broken Earth trilogy.
How do these each interconnect? All are sci-fi and fantasy. Each is a bit different from the mainstream in one way or another. And the styles the writers apply vary greatly.
What have I learned? From reading these (and other fiction I’ve worked my way through this year) I have learned some new stylistic approaches. Telling my stories with more show than tell and choosing to withhold some detail until necessary.
Everything fiction that I read presents new concepts and approaches. And the more that I stay open to this, the more I can…