Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 128 total)
  • I don't understand the appeal of reading fiction.
  • Duffer
    Member

    Every time there is a ‘Recommend me a book’ type thread on here, there seem to be people queuing up to recommend works of fiction. Similarly, most of the best-sellers in book shops (including e-books) appear to be fictional.

    I just don’t get it. In my mind, there are plenty of things in the real world to be excited / scared / reflective / [insert emotion here] about, that there is simply no need to invent new things. My book collection is almost entirely factual stuff (travelogues, history, war accounts, etc).

    Anyone else feel this way? Perhaps i’m simply uncultured.

    I pretty much only read non fiction books, but it’s just cos that’s what I’m into just now. If I was watching a film, non fiction would bore the tits off me though.

    Premier Icon catfishsalesco
    Subscriber

    Escapism I assume?

    aP
    Member

    Do you not dream? Do you only like photographs? No painting or other art? No films, except for documentaries?
    One of my colleagues at work is very proud that he doesn’t read, and never has, read fiction. I just find it’s odd. There’re so many interesting ideas in fiction.

    Do you watch films or tv shows that are non-factual?

    I wouldn’t say uncultured, perhaps less of an escapist? (sure someone will say unimaginative)

    djglover
    Member

    I don’t read as much as I used to but I presume you don’t consume fiction through other media, film, theatre dance.

    So un cultured is a fair assessment I think!

    copa
    Member

    I feel the same. It’s like when somebody wants to tell you about a dream they had. It’s not just books for me but movies and theatre as well.

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Subscriber

    Do you not dream? Do you only like photographs? No painting or other art? No films, except for documentaries?

    Who needs music when theres a whole world of factual field recordings. I’m listening to an album of car doors that close with a satisfying clunk at the moment.

    Premier Icon garage-dweller
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    I love factual books and a bit of real life but fiction is a bit of escapism and allows an author to manipulate the reader in a way that real life doesn’t. Also some real life “stories” actually don’t read so well.

    Have you never watched a film or TV drama? Same thing really.

    Ficton also allows someone to explore what ifs (the man in the high castle is to me a good example).

    Duffer
    Member

    There’re so many interesting ideas in fiction.

    And herein lies my point; there are so many interesting things in real life, that there’s simply no need to invent new ones.

    mikey74
    Member

    Where do you think people get those “real-life” ideas from in the first place? They dream them up: Every idea starts out as fiction.

    Premier Icon Shackleton
    Subscriber

    Some of the best fiction I have read is really just a different way of looking at reality, allowing the author to explore ideas or concepts that otherwise wouldn’t be accessible, but that still have relevance to our existence.

    I’m also sure that fiction has inspired a fair amount of what is now the everyday reality surrounding us. Fiction is after all the cornerstone of creativity.

    And to play devil’s advocate, how much of nonfiction is open to interpretation? The authors own views, available evidence, etc. lead to a version of the facts which, while not fiction in the strictest sense, is unlikely to be the whole truth either.

    I little bit of me has just died knowing that you have no imagination. It’s sad. There’s so much written work, so much art and so much music that you’re missing out on.
    Your childhood must have been a bit hard too.
    🙁

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    It’s not just about the story.

    It can be about the beauty of the writing itself, the joy of the language.

    You can admire the craft, skill and work that goes into a written portrait just as much as a painted one.

    Each expressive medium is unique in the ways it moves us.
    Seems a shame to miss out.

    Rorschach
    Member

    You read this…..and the majority of stuff written here is pure fantasy.

    Premier Icon slowoldman
    Subscriber

    I little bit of me has just died knowing that you have no imagination. It’s sad. There’s so much written work, so much art and so much music that you’re missing out on.
    Your childhood must have been a bit hard too.

    Well that’s a bit harsh. I don’t find myself captivated by fiction either as a rule. I don’t miss out on music at all – in fact it’s a constant companion. Oh and I had a lovely childhood.

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth
    Subscriber

    there is simply no need to invent new things.

    There are some people who are content only with what has happened. And there are others who search for what might happen. The people you read about in non-fiction accounts fall in the second group. And that’s where the fiction writers are too.

    Be brave and step into their world of possibilities….

    Premier Icon jimdubleyou
    Subscriber

    Fiction allows the exploration of ideas, for instance Animal Farm or Lord of the Flies or 1984 or countless other titles.

    copa
    Member

    I little bit of me has just died knowing that you have no imagination. It’s sad. There’s so much written work, so much art and so much music that you’re missing out on.
    Your childhood must have been a bit hard too.

    You could flip that around and say that people who read fiction are filling a gap left by their own lack of imagination and creativity.

    fasthaggis
    Member

    I’m listening to an album of car doors that close with a satisfying clunk at the moment.

    Glad you like it.
    Our next album is lift doors ,we also have a few mash ups from Starship Enterprise.
    That James T Kirk,he knew how to make an entrance.

    You could flip that around and say that people who read fiction are filling a gap left by their own lack of imagination and creativity.

    It’s far too late to be thinking this deeply, but yes, you’re right. 😐

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    Does seem a bit sad, some amazing works of fiction out there, you are missing so much !

    I love fantasy and sci fi in particular

    I just love stuff that stretches your imagination, I (condescendingly) think that people who don’t like that have limited imaginations!

    The best works of fiction can also have a lot to say about the real world

    I have to read a lot of scientific papers in work, though they often require a lot of imagination to grasp the concepts.
    But I love them too,

    Basically all reading is great to me

    Premier Icon Shackleton
    Subscriber

    And herein lies my point; there are so many interesting things in real life, that there’s simply no need to invent new ones.

    This has to be a troll. Surely no one can sit and think about this topic and conclude that? Not liking fiction fair enough, but to consider the creative urge unnecessary? Has to be a troll…..

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    I can’t imagine a world devoid of fiction. The worlds and ideas and themes and characters that have been created and invented…A good percentage of the language you use every day was written first in and for fiction.

    It’s probably the first art form, telling stories to each other is one of the first things humans did that separated them from the other primates.

    Mr_C
    Member

    I only read factual books – in fact I’ve read Lance Armstrong’s autobiographies twice.

    Waderider
    Member

    I’m totally with the OP. Same philosophy for all sorts of media. The real world is amazing enough, and you’ll never get to grasps with it in a lifetime. Why even consider pretend whimsy? All the entertainments exist in fact.

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    It’s not the reader’s imagination – it’s the writer’s imagination that is being missed out on. Of course there’s a great amount of skill in the retelling of factual information, but the skill and imagination of so many fiction writers is something I couldn’t miss out on. Never reading J.G. Ballard, Cormac McCarthy, Chuck Palahniuk, Philip K Dick, (just a few favourites off the top of my head) etc etc etc… just craziness!

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    True nick, but stories drawn on cave walls are even older.

    I wonder when our ancestors developed the ability to tell stories?
    Probably about three seconds after the first lie, thinking about it.
    🙂

    Premier Icon Shackleton
    Subscriber

    Or the first lie was the first story 😉

    Premier Icon duncancallum
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    So we can safely assume the daily mails out too?

    I read both me cos I is cultured.

    On a serious bent people need fiction and they always will read, it wether it’s a nice collection of short moralistic stories that’s circa 2000years old or Terry Pratchet.

    It provides an escapism, an outlet too judge people with out conscience.

    Also it can be bloody funny.

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    Good point.

    Babies lie.
    To other babies, their parents, everyone.
    Dishonesty would appear to be innate.
    🙂

    seavers
    Member

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    but stories drawn on cave walls are even older.

    Oldest ones found so far are about 41,000 years old, Homo Ergaster/Erectus was knocking about for 160,000 years longer than that, and I’ll bet singing and chatting over a fire. Bet Ugh’s story about that crappy mammoth hunt was a crowd pleaser every time, and he never needed that much encouragement to tell it again 😆

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    ‘Ee do the mamoffs in diff’rent voices’.
    🙂

    bencooper
    Member

    Haven’t there been studies of folktales, claiming to show that some of them are very, very old? Thousands and thousands of years.

    Stories are also ways of making sense of things. I could give you a lecture about revolution and how revolutionary leaders become corrupted by power, but it’d be a boring lecture – the mental image of Orwell’s pigs sitting at the table is much more arresting. I just need to say “four legs good, two legs better” and anyone who knows the book understands the reference.

    Of course that works with other fiction, not just books – the real advantage of books is they’re not passive. You can’t just read a book the way you watch a film, you need to engage your brain and think about what you’re reading, to use your own imagination.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    A flood myth or deluge myth is a narrative in which a great flood, usually sent by a God destroys everything, as the flood waters are described as a measure for the cleansing of humanity, in preparation for rebirth. Most flood myths also contain a hero, who represents the human “craving for life”

    The flood myth is widespread in nearly every ancient culture as seen in the Mesopotamian flood stories, the Hindu texts, in Greek mythology, the Genesis flood narrative, Bergelmir in Norse Mythology, and the Maya in Mesoamerica, North America, the Muisca, in South America.

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth
    Subscriber

    This post is intriguing me.

    I assume “fiction” in this context is confined to novels only. So what is their view on poetry? Or satire? Or graffiti slogans on the wall of the gents?

    Premier Icon duncancallum
    Subscriber

    If the flood myth is that popular n it’s in the bible I think Moses was from Bolton. Found in the reed beds of the irwell….

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    We’ve done this throughout history.
    Similar myths seem to appear at similar times in unconnected communities.
    Robin Hood’s a good example.

    We mythologise and reinvent our past to enable us to deal with our present.
    The myths original meanings change and evolve as our concept of what it is to be human evolves.

    Premier Icon nealglover
    Subscriber

    I spend a lot of time on the road, and listen to audiobooks (audible.com)

    It would cost me a fortune if I paid full price for them all, so I buy whatever is is “book of the day” when j finish one. It’s an awesome way of “reading” a Wide wrangle of stuff.

    In the last 12 months I’ve finished 128 books, fiction, non fiction, fantasy, whatever

    Not much I haven’t liked.

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