Writers once lamented about how movies would kill literature. Decades later, we now know that’s not true. Books and novels are still alive and kicking. The real lamentations were bad writers knowing they would stop getting paid for making shoddy-to-mediocre products.
Fantasy, sci fi and fiction have all been thriving in our digital age. It’s easier than ever for writers to push their content out, and easier than ever for readers to find books they’ll like. It’s something that YOU need to take advantage of if you haven’t already.
To preface all of this, why even read a book? Turn on literally any Marvel movie–or Star Wars–and there’s all the action you could ever want. You don’t have to do all the work of imagining fight scenes or trying to interpret them, and you can sit back and let your mind shut off. So why read?
A huge part of reading is the natural investment and build up of novels. There’s a difference between watching a character cry on screen, and being in their own head while they’re devolving into a mess before your eyes. One you can only watch, and guess at what they’re feeling. You might know why they’re crying, but you don’t know why.
In our modern day characters are written to be people. There are less and less Aragorns and Supermans, and more Frodo’s and Spidermans. People that are going through relatable internal struggles even if they’re in foreign environments and conflicts. These inner conflicts are harder to see on TV, but these characters’ hearts are poured out to us in the pages of books.
Essentially, a well-written book gets you more invested and interested in a character than a mediocre Television show or movie. The stakes are higher, and things just feel more tense. Even in a great TV show, there are going to be things that don’t work as well as they would in a book.
But what if you don’t have time to sit down and read anymore? With everyone’s lives becoming busier and busier, it’s a valid complaint. However, if you really want to commit to reading and expanding your horizons, books are more accessible than ever through the mediums of Kindle and Audio books.
Whereas before you might have had to wait for a book at the library, or wait to try and find a copy at Walmart, you can now access books with the press of a few buttons. Apps like Kindle are especially great because you can take them anywhere with you, and you can log in to your account across multiple devices.
Audio books are another great service that lets you “read” without reading. Working out, driving, or doing chores but don’t want to listen to music? Someone can read your favorite books to you while you’re out doing something else or being productive.
As someone who was skeptical of audiobooks myself, they’re great. They go through the story slower than you might read it normally, but it gives you more time to process what the narrator is saying.
So with all that being said, why should you read fiction specifically? Because in modern times there’s something for everyone. Romance, fantasy, scifi, mystery, horror, thrillers, the list goes on. More importantly though, is that there’s no more set “formula” for these stories. There is no one right way to write or structure your story. Everyone is attempting to do something new and innovative, while also staying true to familiar archetypes and conflicts..
The fantasy genre is a perfect example. Decades ago, Wheel of Time and The Lord of the Rings were the only two mainstream fantasy novels. These are stories where it can take hours before you’re properly invested into characters and the worlds that they’re from. Readers today simply don’t have the time or patience to read through these hour long intros, and have gotten bored of seeing Orcs and Trollocs for the thousandth time.
In modern works like Game of Thrones and The Stormlight Archive, we still see characters struggling with internal problems just as they do in Wheel of Time. However, their unique worlds and the conflicts help to show these struggles in an entirely different light. The books might take a while to get into, but they’re still written with modern audiences in mind. It doesn’t take as long as it used to.
And don’t forget, you don’t need to sit down and struggle through a thousand pages of these books, you can have them read to you! If you can only read in small amounts of time, then that’s exactly what Kindles and the Kindle app were made for.
In conclusion, there’s really no good excuse for why you shouldn’t be reading for fun. Especially if you’re constantly “bored and have nothing to do.” It’s something easy to do, and it gives you something to talk about with your friends and loved ones. Besides, it’ll keep you busier than watching a movie for an hour and a half.