I recently rediscovered a fiction book that I purchased when I was 8 or 9, that I never got around to reading.
In fact, I purchased the book at a book-signing, and I’m almost certain I was far more interested in meeting an author, and receiving a signed copy, than I was in flipping through the pages of this book.
As I was cleaning through my bookshelf, I noticed the colourful title in between a pair of encyclopedias.
It radiated exuberance, despite being covered in a thin-layer of dust.
I was immediately taken back to the moment when I first purchased the book, and adopted a similar sense of joy and excitement – though this time for an alternate reason.
I had a sudden child-like curiosity to proceed on the journey of this short, made-for-children, adventure book.
For those wondering, the book is called “Jaspa’s Journey”, and I’m not ashamed to say I’m thoroughly enjoying it.
It’s been quite some time since I’ve last embarked on a reading experience with fiction, and its offered a unique and fresh twist to reading.
The unique aspect of fiction is the ability, and perhaps requirement, to imagine, create, set and visualize the environment of the book within the confines of your head.
The visual imagination is what makes a fiction book particularly enjoyable for me.
To do this, requires full focus on reading, and I think it demands a certain level of presence within the context of reading. I find as I begin to read, I need to find a groove, and detach myself from the external to find a rhythm and begin to visualize the book, so that I can consequently enjoy it.
I think fiction is a great way to reignite a love for reading – especially if all you read are “self-help” and non-fiction books you seek to learn from.
Further, and without doubt, fiction books offer much to learn from, with the added requirement that you pick out themes and decipher a meaning for yourself.
Often self-help books present a message or learning outcome loud and clear, and if it doesn’t resonate with the reader, the reader won’t be able to internalize this knowledge.
With fiction, on the other hand, because it requires the reader to critically extract a theme and main message (usually), the reader is able to extract or pull out whatever it is they need at the time. The learning from a fiction book can be unique to the reader, which I think is extremely special.