So, I'm visiting an absolutely wonderful 86-year-old woman.
I arrive at her house and she has tea and treats all ready. And like every time I visit, we spend a couple hours talking. She tells me about the basketball game she's going to watch that night. The 50-some hats she's crocheted for the homeless ministry where I work. And...
How she doesn't read fiction.
Oh, she reads, all right. Probably a dozen books a month. But no fiction. Because in her words, "Why would I?"
Try to imagine me, if you will. Choking on my tea. Snorting it up my nose. Trying not to spit it out. Or laugh. Or cringe.
I love this lady like crazy. She amazes me with her faith and wisdom and energy.
But she doesn't read fiction.
During the course of our conversation a few weeks ago, I decided I'd leave out that teensy tidbit about me being an aspiring novelist. Figured maybe she didn't need to know. But I couldn't help giggling about it later in the day.
See, I'm sooo polar opposite. I can't understand not reading fiction! Sure, I read plenty of nonfiction - usually devotionals and the like. (Um, but I've never read Blue Like Jazz. Am I still technically a Christian? Hehe.)
But her question did get me thinking:
Why do I love fiction so much?
I drink the stuff in, I'm telling you. Is it the escape? The adventure? The romance? The connection I feel to characters? Maybe the opportunity, while buried in those pages, to experience a life different than my own. I certainly also love stories which make me think, stir up my faith, encourage and inspire me.
It's probably all that and more. Mostly, I love stories. Somehow a good story has this way of giving life to thoughts and emotions in me I sometimes never knew I had...if that makes any sense at all.
I feel like I'd miss out on so much if I didn't read novels. Can't give 'em up.
But if you don't mind, we'll just keep that between you and me and not a certain 86-year-old friend of mine. :)
I'd love to hear your thoughts! I'm guessing most of you do read fiction. Why? What do you love most about it? Are there upsides and downsides of reading fiction? Or if you're more into non-fiction, go ahead and confess... :)