Is Reading Fiction a Waste of Time? Discover the Truth

Fiction books take us on an incredible journey through the imagination of the author. Through stories that are cleverly weaved by writers, we are transported from our everyday lives into fascinating worlds where we can escape, relax, and experience life from different perspectives. Some people argue that reading fiction is a waste of time, but is it really? Let’s discover the truth and see what benefits come from reading fiction.

What is Fiction?

Before we can determine if fiction reading is a waste of time, it’s important to define what it is. Fiction is imaginative writing that tells a story. This story is not necessarily true or factual, but rather a creation of the author’s imagination. Although fiction has made-up content, it still contains a dose of reality, as it is often inspired by actual events or real-life situations.

Appreciation of Language

Fiction is an excellent way to appreciate language. It is written in a way that is different from everyday communication, which helps to broaden our vocabulary and improve our writing style. When we read fiction, we can see the beauty of the language that the author has used, which can inspire us to be more creative and eloquent in our communication. Consequently, it brings us closer to becoming better communicators.

Developing Empathy

Empathy is the ability to put oneself in someone else’s shoes and feel what they are feeling. Fiction has characters that we can empathize with, as they experience various emotions and situations. We can relate to these characters as we follow their life journey through the books. As such, it helps us understand different perspectives and allows us to become more empathetic as human beings.


Fiction reading helps to calm our minds when we are feeling stressed. It’s a form of escapism that allows us to forget about our daily troubles and dive into a different world. It provides a much-needed break from the stresses of our daily lives and helps us relax and recharge. Reading fiction before bed, in particular, helps us switch off from our gadgets, which some studies suggest can have an adverse effect on our sleep patterns.

Improved Creativity

Fiction nurtures the imagination and inspires creativity. Reading fiction helps us imagine different worlds and experiences that are different from our realities. This imaginative process improves our creativity by unlocking new perspectives and ideas we may not have considered before. Moreover, when we encounter situations in our everyday lives, the creative problem-solving skills we learn from reading and enjoying fiction help us become more innovative problem solvers in real life.

Learning from Different Cultures and Experiences

Fiction books allow us to travel without physically going anywhere. They are a window into different cultures and experiences that we may never have had the chance to witness otherwise. By reading about different cultures, customs, lifestyles, and experiences, we can broaden our minds, open our hearts, and become more accepting, understanding, and tolerant individuals.

Is Fiction Reading a Waste of Time?

So, is fiction reading a waste of time? Absolutely not! Fiction provides benefits that expand beyond a single or two-hour reading session. It is an excellent way to educate and entertain ourselves while bringing empathy, imagination, and creativity to our lives. Moreover, it leads to more cultural awareness, appreciation of language, and relaxation that transfers into our daily lives. Fiction helps to enrich who we are as individuals and shape the kind of society we create together.


A long-lasting argument exists that fiction reading is a waste of time, but we have proven it to be an invaluable and rewarding experience. By opening our minds, experiencing different perspectives and cultures, and appreciating the beauty of language and imagination, we become well-rounded individuals with an understanding and appreciation of all walks of life. Telling stories is a powerful way of connecting people universally, and through fiction, we can connect, empathize and gain new insights that can help us shape a better, more inclusive world.

Unordered List of Common Questions and Answers

  • Is reading fiction a waste of time? No, it’s not.
  • What is fiction? Fiction is imaginative writing that tells a story.
  • What benefits come from reading fiction? It cultivates empathy, appreciation of language, relaxation, improved creativity, cultural awareness, and learning.
  • Can fiction reading improve our writing skills? Yes, it can by broadening our vocabulary and improving our writing style.
  • Is there a particular genre that provides better benefits? No, any genre can provide benefits. It’s better to read books based on your preference and taste.


  1. Giles, D. (2019). The benefits of reading fiction. Darling Magazine. Retrieved from
  2. Reading Literature Makes Us Smarter and Nicer,” The Washington Post, 2013.
  3. Coyne, S. M., Padilla-Walker, L. M., & Howard, E. (2013). Emerging in adulthood in the digital age: The role of video games in developing empathy in prosocial interactions. Journal of adolescence, 36(4), 1091-1103.
  4. Hemmingsson, E. (2018). The effect of evening use of light-emitting eReaders on sleep: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Applied Physiology, 125(2), 501-508.

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