TED Conversations

Amgad Muhammad

This conversation is closed.

What's the point of novels?

All of us would agree that reading for facts and knowledge widens our perspective, but what does reading novels do?
Do we read novels for the sole purpose of entertaining ourselves or does it make us intelligent in some way?
How can one take lessons from a story that was made up and characters that do not exist?

Is reading novels just a waste of time? a sort of video game for those who like to read?


Topics: books

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    May 8 2013: As a child, I loved the days when I could go to the library so I could bring home as many books as I could carry. This love never left me, even though now I have less time to enjoy catching up with my favorite fictional heroes. I enjoyed novels because they provided an escape and enticed my imagination. This in turn enhanced my creativity. I didn't realize until I was a more mature reader how much novels affected me. Books taught me morals and lessons. The characters of books showed me the importance of never giving up, no matter how defeated I felt. The most important effect books had on my was that I learned to think critically in everyday life. Initially, I only analyzed books when my teachers required it and standardized tests asked me. By the end of high school after reading hundred of books, I thought critically about books, life, my future, etc. I think this was the greatest gift given to me. Books were my constant companions and they taught me how look at something and think something different.
    • thumb
      May 9 2013: My childhood was a pile of comic books, I don't think I would be reading anything today if it wasn't for them.
      I like to believe that comic books are novels for children :)
      Thanks for your warm participation Morgan
      • thumb
        May 9 2013: Haha, that's fantastic! I think you're right. I wish I had read more comic books. Maybe they would have inspired me to improve my very lacking artistic abilities? You're quite welcome!
        • thumb
          May 13 2013: My childhood was a series of Sweet Valley High books and today I can't put down books about neuroscience, reading, learning or anything else I find interesting. So, I'd say, the time reading wasn't wasted even though Sweet Valley High may not be classic material.
      • thumb
        May 13 2013: I wrote a grant years ago to purchase comic books for my classroom library. They're wonderful for children learning English as they are full of pictures and figurative language.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.