Book Talks: What Can We Learn from Novels?

So today I’ve been thinking about what we can learn from novels as opposed to what we can learn from books that are…well, not novels (i.e. “real books”). The thing is, every time someone learns I’m an avid reader, their first response is, “Oh my gosh, you read so much, you must be so smart [because of that].” And my response to that is usually, “Oh, well, I only really read novels.” And their response is usually a quite deflated, “Oh.” as if reading a novel doesn’t make you as smart as someone who reads “real books,” in their opinion. I become a silly fangirl rather than a learned scholar in their eyes

Why would they think this? Well it’s kind of easy to see. Novels don’t contain “hard facts,” or information. Their main purpose is to entertain, not to inform…Right?

Well, maybe not. Because in my humble opinion, we can learn just as much from novels as we can from “real books.” Just think about it this way. The great works of literature we so revere all began as, you guessed it, as novels! The works are so revered, not just for their artistry, but because they show us something about humankind. That’s right, they teach us something.

So while novels don’t contain hard facts, they do contain the precious impressions of human emotions and interactions, telling us all something about ourselves, and life itself. This is why novels are important. This is why reading them makes you just as learned as someone reading “real books.” Just in a different way.

Think about that the next time someone scoffs at you reading novels.

So I pose to you this question: What can we learn from novels in your opinion?

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Lila is a 27-year-old college student studying physics and a lover of literature. When she's not busy reading or saving the world through science, Lila can be found singing jazz and blues and obsessing over hedgehogs (a.k.a. the cutest animals in the multiverse!)

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