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Amgad Muhammad

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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

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    May 11 2013: The best novels are stories that resonate with us, that entertain while also teaching us something about life, or love, or happiness, or dangers. I believe that a great story can change the way you think about things - regardless of what genre it is. I believe you can be moved as much by a well-told popular novel as you can by anything on a literary prize list.

    When we read fiction we relax and allow the author to take us by the hand to wander through a world of their creation. As we're enjoying the story, learning about the characters and situations in which they find themselves and the worlds in which they live, new ideas can be conveyed that we might not be receptive to had they been delivered in a lecture or non-fiction account. I believe that amazing stories can enrich our knowledge of the world around us almost without us realising. Our imagination is our greatest asset and stories feed this.

    As an author, the greatest compliment anyone can pay me is when they tell me, 'I loved your story. After I finished the book I kept thinking about what happened to this character/ that situation/ my own experience of what the story was about...' Stories that move us, make us consider our own experiences and stay with us long after the last page are powerful and make life a lot more interesting. Even if they're about vampires, or spies, star-crossed lovers or hard-bitten detectives...
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      May 12 2013: Hey Miranda, thanks for spending some time writing your thoughts on this, I really appreciate it.
      My question to you is regarding this sentence: "I believe that amazing stories can enrich our knowledge of the world around us almost without us realizing".
      Does this apply to fake stories as well? to stories that are made up, that might be directive or trying to draw an image of a reality that cannot exist, to pursue false dreams. Do you get me :S ?

      Sometimes I reflect upon stories and contemplate upon their ideas, but then I think, well the story is made up, so maybe the character cannot do this or that, and maybe such circumstances are illogical and won't happen in real life, so why bother?
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        May 12 2013: Thanks for your kind words!

        I think even if stories are made up and we don't agree with them, the point is that they have provoked a reaction. Sometimes it's good to read someone else's idea of the world to determine our own. Fiction provides a 'safe place' to consider it. And in any story, however fantastical, there are elements of real life and human experience. It's in the skill of the storyteller to bring those elements into the story. As such, I don't think anything is wasted - if it makes you consider it even for a moment, I think it has value!
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      May 12 2013: Miranda, I just searched your name on goodreads, I didn't know you're like, a real author :D
      I Will definitely mark some of your work to-read. Best of luck!

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