Is Fiction A Waste Of Time?

I love this article so much that I decided to reblog it. And of course I can’t help but put my two cents in. So here it goes…

Novels books in shelf

I didn’t start loving fiction or reading in general until I reached 11 years old, before that I only love fairy tales, which all girls at that age does. Around my last year in elementary school I discovered that our school’s small library contains other books aside from collections of textbooks, dictionaries, encyclopedias and Sweet Valley High series (don’t know if they got the complete collection). You can’t really blame me since teachers only tell us to go there to do our project or homework in which cases we only open the Encyclopedia. Now, even if we do have a (very) small library (since only from Grade 3-6 occupies that campus), aside from those I previously mentioned, the other books are nearly invisible to the naked eye. Anyways, one day I came upon a very interesting looking book (forgot what it was, it was a big hard covered one though with a drawing of a Chinese girl or so) and out of curiosity read it. I guess it was a good one since it did made me pick another one and another and another.

So, from what I said above you would have probably guess that I don’t really believe in the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover”, literally that is. Why? There are just millions of books out there under numerous genre and authors. If you do not have a preference in genre or author but loves fictional stories, it is just too impossible to read all of their summaries inside the bookstore or library. You have to first identify though what you are looking for, is it a fictional or nonfictional book (autobiography, documentary, reference book, etc.).

For me, my main interest is in fictions. Four years ago I started preferring suspense that involves serial killing, my favorite is when the story is told using the the killer’s perspective. Prior to that, I’d been more into family drama and archeological mysteries kind of stories for most of my life. I love reading these books because I get to convince myself that I have a better life than those characters when reading family dramas and I am living my first dream job, to be an archeologists, when reading archeological mysteries.Secretly though, I think I was just being a masochists. I just love to feel the character’s pain and suffering. Now, I think it’s the sadist part of me that is seeking satisfaction. Even if I said all these, I had not faced any family drama worth writing about, nor did I discover any worthy artifacts, nor did I wish to kill somebody. So, reading fiction is purely for entertainment purpose for me.

I don’t read a random book though out of impulse. My impulse is always equated with what I like for that time. Like when I’d seen one episode of Dexter it triggered me to read a book with similar theme, just so happened that it was originally a novel series. And I love it, the only series (aside from Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings) that I bothered to collect, its still on-going now.

When I choose for a book to pick-up what I do is:

  1. Identify the genre I prefer or the author I want.
  2. Whether I do step 1 or not, I always check the title out.
  3. If I find a title interesting I look at the cover (sometimes step 2 and 3 are interchangeable). This also entails how thick or thin I want it to be because there are times when I just want to read it in one sitting.
  4. If I like what I see, I read the summary. There are also books that have no summary, in that case I either have to really love the title, author or cover for me to choose it.
  5. Based on it I decide whether I want it or not.
  6. Finally, I check the price out. I don’t have the luxury to afford a book, which I could finish within days or even hours if time permits, costing more than $30 no matter how good the review is.

I always follow these steps not just so I can find a good book but more so that I don’t waste a considerable amount of my time reading all of the summaries. Besides, its impossible to stay on one shelf for hours without catching anyone’s attention and, since I like to be left alone during this time, it really annoys me when someone will disturb me.

But, in today’s modern times, books are becoming more accessible and affordable through the power of the technology. You can already read a story online or via ebook. It does not only save you the energy required to walk around a bookstore or library, it also saves you money and provides mobility. You can read it anywhere, at the bus, on the road, at the park, without the need of bringing anything but your smartphone or tablet, which I presume you always carry around. It also saves you space and helps conserve trees.

For those who are avid fans of a book or collecting a series, like I am for Dexter, paperback and hardcover is still the preferred one. I guess its the sentiment behind owning the book or something. What do you think?

Anyways, for the re-blog posted, I do not own anything. All credits goes to the author Down And Out In The 21st.