We all know what it’s like to open up the first page of that new dystopian novel and dive into the outlandish, yet eerily paralleled civilization that survives maybe as long as 750 pages (unless we get sucked into the series).
Other days, we might be fluttering through a scandalous romance novel, skimming through meaningless happenings until we get to the juicy parts.
No matter the genre, losing ourselves in fiction is always a well-deserved break from reality. But what if we want to dive deeper into the world we live in?
Just like there is a fiction book for almost every imaginary scenario possible, in this world and alternate ones, there is a nonfiction author who wanted to give his or her own account of the world we are all a part of.
So, here are some reasons why incorporating nonfiction into your life will do you a whole lot of good.
1. These kinds of stories are relatable.
Nonfiction is based on real-world events and ideas you have the chance encounter every day, whether it’s a cross-country road trip or modern-day feminism.
It’s easy to interject yourself in these kinds of stories because they’re about experiences you’re familiar with.
If you’re not familiar with them, you’ll only learn more about the world you’re a part of. And there’s probably a lot you don’t know, so what better way to learn about it than to read?
2. You can experience the world through somebody else's point of view.
Sure, you don’t have the time (or maybe the skill) to climb Mount Everest, or to open up your own school in Thailand.
But, the people who do have the time have written books about every step they took, how they made the time, got in the right headspace or decided never to do it again.
All of these writers are giving you permission to live vicariously through them.
3. It will give you a break from that 900-page novel.
Alright, you’ve tried to get past the first 120 pages, but this mystical boat ride is going on for days.
If you’re one of those people who has to see a book through to the end, try finishing a real-life adventure account to give your mind a break.
It will also spark your momentum to push through your previous undertaking.
4. It will save you a ton of research.
Books are long, meaning they have ample room to talk about both sides of the story. Plus, they cite their sources, so you have even more resources to draw on.
Ever get stuck in a debate about who actually wrote that decade-defining song? There are tons of essay collections and speeches you can learn from and educate others about. You’ll be done with the empty arguments.
5. Keep your brain sharp, even after you graduate.
Somehow, reading sociological studies or environmental policy comparisons outside of college will do a whole lot more for your brain than it did when you were cramming the night before an exam.
You’ll be reading it because you’re intending to learn for yourself rather than to save your GPA.
6. Articulating your thoughts will come more easily.
Of course, this goes for all kinds of reading, but nonfiction writing has a realistic prose that can help you formulate ideas in your head to either write down or share with others.
Reading about an issue you’re passionate about can help you learn appropriate vocabulary, and how to shape an idea in a way that’s applicable to your life.
Keeping a journal can also help you gain perspective on issues you might not otherwise have been able to express.
7. You’ll find yourself reflecting on your own life.
This isn’t to say we should constantly be comparing ourselves to others. But reading about other people’s successes and failures can help us stay critical about the path we’re taking.
Whatever path we’re on, it’s worthwhile to weigh in on our steps and whether or not they’re the right ones. Nonfiction helps us evaluate our everyday processes and improve upon them.
Essays, speeches, studies, biographies or just tales of real-life experiences can be difficult to get through because you’re facing reality rather than escaping it.
But, it’s definitely a challenge worth taking. Nonfiction can do considerably more for you than fiction.