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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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  • Delta M

    • +5
    May 13 2013: This brings to mind one of my dearly loved quotes by Neil Gaiman, “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

    They teach us something about ourselves and our place in the world. They touch our emotions and stir our dreams. They way we react to what we've read is as personal as the way the author wrote what they felt, no two books are written the same, and no two readings of the same book are read the same.

    Stories - all stories - be they any length in any medium, from novels to flash fiction, from bedtime fairy tales to spoken elder circles - stories are important because they are an expression of human soul. They take someone else's experiences and make them your own, they reach across time and space, bridging generations and nations and cultures.

    Even if dragons don't exist, it's important to teach that they can be beaten.

    To quote again, Terry Pratchett sums it up as, "Humans need fantasy to be human." I truly believe that. Novels are proof that we are still human.

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