Today I’ve assembled a group of readers’ perspectives on the power of fiction. In a future post, I’ll include comments from readers who are also authors. Please add your thoughts to the discussion!
Mary Ann who is 58 and has lived in different parts of the world: The power of fiction, in my opinion, is that no matter what kind of day I’m having or what other concerns I may have, I can always pick up a book and if the author does a good job, be whisked away into another person’s world. I can vanish for as long as I care to and know that when I have to return to everyday life, my book friends are still waiting.
Anne from Yorkshire, UK reads more than 350 books a year: Without question it is escape. I live other lives and experience so many things that are not part of my life and which allow me to escape from my own life –not that my own life is at all difficult.
Adam, a Canadian in his mid-thirties: The greatest power of fiction is to push the boundaries of the real to give the reader a chance to imagine. I suspect that creates real opportunities for empathy. It’s also a great diversion, and a way to portray ideal worlds, or worlds that are broken in specific ways.
Wendy who is from the UK and loves historical fiction: An ability to ‘escape’, if only briefly, from the day to day trials and tribulations. In my own case, the past five years have been the most stressful of my life. The hours I spent sitting by my husband’s bedside and then later when I had to come to terms with being alone after 43 years of marriage were only just bearable because I could lose myself in a book. In the case of my love of historical fiction – I am within travelling distance of so many wonderful historical sites and visiting them with my grandchildren is a great source of interest and delight.
Jane who is 75 and lives in Mexico: I think fiction allows us to experience what we have not personally lived, builds understanding, empathy, historical perspective, gives us pleasure and defeats loneliness.
Paul who is 48 and lives in Dorset: Fiction has the ability to tell the world of significant moments and peoples lives.
Joanne who lives in Essex, UK: Fiction allows the reader to travel to distant places, other time periods, imaginary worlds and all without leaving their own home. It can take your mind off your own troubles, make you laugh, cry and more.
Sarah who lives in California and has been in the tech industry as well as holding an MLIS: Fiction can take more risks because it’s not hinged on real world consequences or rules.
Mary, a 17-year-old from Australia: The power to forgot Earthly struggles once in a while and just read.
Pat who lives in the US and is addicted to books: A place to travel to other countries, eras, worlds (I do read some sci-fi), a way to relax, I love history and books take me back in time.
Escape … empathy … travel … risk … significant moments … defeats loneliness … builds understanding … bearing life’s tribulations. Now that’s powerful!
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M.K. Tod writes historical fiction. Her latest novel, TIME AND REGRET was published by Lake Union. Mary’s other novels, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from Amazon, Nook, Kobo, Google Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.