Why do you read fiction?

Last weekend I met a scientist who shared with me her recent bout of burnout. Blackout, checkout, whatever term fit, she needed out.

The only books she had in her home were nonfiction, science, history, how-to. They weren’t what she needed during those weary days. Too much effort, no comfort.

She called a friend for suggested reading material, and the friend brought her a few Janette Oke novels.

Those simple stories spoke to this highly educated and scientifically minded woman’s heart unlike her library that spoke to her brain. They touched something deep inside and brought tears and healing, she said.

Then she looked me in the eye with a smile and added, “Jesus told stories.”

There’s something about the power of story.

Why do YOU read fiction? Iā€™d love to hear from you.

14 thoughts on “Why do you read fiction?

  1. I read fiction for the same reasons. Life can be so full of “burnout, blackout, checkout,” etc. that my brain needs refueling.

    1. davalynn

      Absolutely, Derinda. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I agree, sometimes you just have to be entertained instead of entertaining everyone else.

    1. davalynn

      Great way to put it, Linda.

  3. I have had this ongoing debate with my sister since my book came out. She has been very critical of my book and of a fiction in general. I lead two Bible studies of 18 women a year. I study a lot. I need the emotional and mental relaxation of fiction. There are even studies that show it is good for you. It releases hormones as if you were actually participating in the action. They are as long-acting as if you physically participated. It stimulates the imagination, which non-fiction and TV cannot. I have also watched it disciple my mother-in-law who is 92. English is her second language and she would never attend a Bible study, but she has learned about how Christians should live and interact and grown in her walk with The Lord through good Christian fiction. I am working on a series of blogs about the benefits of reading fiction. Can you tell I think it’s worthwhile?

    1. davalynn

      Wow, Norma, I think you hit several proverbial nail heads there. I know some people simply prefer nonfiction, but when our souls and hearts are weary it seems to be ‘stories’ that heal us. It’s so good to hear that we agree with the ‘studies!’ Looking forward to your blog posts.

  4. I cannot count the times God has spoken to me through a fictional story and it changed my life, even my marriage. I read fiction for relaxation, to learn, to hear God speak through a character’s life.

    1. davalynn

      I hear you loud and clear, Cindy. Something about story opens my ears and heart to the Lord.

  5. I’ve always love story. My mother read to me and we’d travel to worlds otherwise unknown to use. I loved to augment history with the “personal” aspect of people who lived through it. I’m a relational person and love to read abotu relationships. Finally, I’m a romantic (and I don’t mean romance) and always wonder about others’ lives, and fiction brings all those together.

    1. davalynn

      So true, Ane. When I started out as a journalist, I was told: Tell the story of the war by telling the story of the soldier. That approach is what makes history come alive for me. Bless your mother!

  6. I read fiction because I love reading creative stories that inspire hope and give me glimpses into how life is for people other than me. I enjoy captivating characters journeying along intriguing plot lines. I just love a good story! šŸ™‚

    1. davalynn

      Alexis – inspiring hope – I like that!

  7. It’s a “mental getaway” without leaving home! Very relaxing. I have no imagination so I depend on others who do have!

    1. davalynn

      Getaway, Karen. So true. Going places without leaving home.


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