Hello bookworms and welcome back! Today is Thursday, which means it’s time for another instalment of my very own weekly meme, Discussion Thursday, where I discuss with you my bookish thoughts and musings on a specific topic. This week I’m going to address why we read books. With what purpose do we read books? Specifically, fiction books. For entertainment? To delve deeper into the issues that surround us in our world today? Fiction books, in my opinion are a work of art, that, for as amazing as they are at addressing real world issues and ideas and opening our eyes to issues, deserve to be valued as a work of art above all else and deserved to be enjoyed as one as well.
Fiction books come in all forms of genre and style and explore different ideas. Contemporaries tend to focus a lot around coming-of-age stories and issues that arise in teenage lives, such as romance, mental health, family and so on. You are all wonderfully committed bookworms, so you are probably nodding your heads rigorously at what I’m saying. And then we have fantasy and sci-fi – which are personally my favourite – that explore a wider variety of different things.
But my view is that I see books, most importantly, as artwork that deserves to be enjoyed for what they are. Recently, I’ve been reading reviews – as I always do – and I’ve been noticing small comments within these reviews that have begun to get on my nerves, which is actually very surprising. And it’s when people say that the things that authors construct within the stories of their books, such as relationships, insta-love, love triangles (or love A’s if you’re familiar with Joey @ thoughts and afterthoughts), and many other things are unrealistic. Seriously?
Books were not written to be a reflection of the lives we live. I didn’t pick up a fiction novel like Throne of Glass, or Isla and the Happily Ever After, expecting to read about a girl who lives the same life as I do. No. I picked it up to escape from the life I live. To experience something that I could probably never experience and most likely might not never happen in the life I currently live in.
Why do you read books? Because, if you’re being honest with yourself, I’m sure you would all agree with me, wouldn’t you bookworms? Honestly, I don’t know why comments such as “the insta-love in this book is so ridiculous and unrealistic” have started to bother me. Of course, it’s not about the insta-love. In many cases, insta-love is done in the most excruciatingly, cringe-worthy ways possible. And… another thought: is insta-love really unrealistic? Don’t we all catch a glimpse of someone and immediately become attracted to them? Of course, I know, the insta-love you are most likely complaining about is, meet one day, and the next day they are telling each other they can’t live without one another. I know, I get it. Back to the topic at hand. . .
Over anything else, over the issues and ideas of life that books explore, which many explore so extremely well and get us to think so deeply about the world around us, the stories within books should not be critically assessed as being unrealistic. After all, why do we read books? Certainly not to get a biography of our lives, I’ll tell you that! Here’s why I read books:
– I read books to experience the kind of life that I could only ever dream about
– I read books to do things I’d never do in my real life (even if I’m only reading about the things characters do)
– I read books to get lost in worlds that are not my own
– I read to swoon over deeply complex bad boys and almost perfect male characters (this is such a vain point, but I will NOT deny it)
– I read to ship relationships despite how insta-lovey they are
– I read books BECAUSE they are so totally unrealistic and could never happen in real life
– I read because it’s an amazing source of entertainment that I would not give up, even for a lifetime of Netflix
I think one of the most important things to know, however, is that even though we read for entertainment and the unrealistic-ness that can most of the time come along with the stories, it doesn’t take away from the things we can learn from books. And even if we can’t learn from it, we are all, in the end, reading because it so extremely fun, am I right?! Sure, there are moments when certain books can totally kill things, such as insta–love. We all know how bad that can get. And yes, sometimes books can really butcher a plot line or do a horrible job at character development. Sure, criticise that. But commenting on a book saying it’s totally ridiculous and unrealistic? Books are meant to be unrealistic. They’re meant to be over the top with imagination. It’s why we love them so much!