Should We Only Read Educational or Self-Improvement Books?

Most people who know me, be it strangers I just met, new meet friends or even life long friends who have learned that I love to read, will stay in the bookish topic for a while with conversation that goes like this:

•First scenario→ Them: “Oh! So you love to read! I love to read too!”

•Second scenario→ Them: “WOW! You love to read?! I never think I could stand reading that monsters.”

Which somehow always ended with the same question→ Them: “So, what kind of books do you read?”

My reply→ Me: “Novels!”

Some of their feedback → Them: “OH. I thought you mean educational books or self improvement books.” *disappointed* *go back underestimating*

Which annoyed the hell out of me.

Because what kind of reaction is that?! Not everyone share those feedback above of course, but I got that reply quite a lot of times before.

Hence, I decided to write this post.

Because I’m fond of good stories in novels, I’m going to share the benefit I think most readers will agree on and I hope non-readers will read this by chance:

1. Improve Imagination.

Which is absolute. Many scenes won’t even been adapted 100% similar to movies (if it is made into one) And because not every books are being made movies, they’re unique. Books that are not made into movies doesn’t mean they’re not good. Some books are even too creative to be made a movie. Which will of course improve your imagination if you’ve found the right book for it. They’re a lot of diamond in a rough in these heaps of books.

2. Sharpen One’s Mind and Spark More Ideas.

You read a lot, you unconsciously improve your mindset. Before you know it, you are a different person now. Not only about sharpening your mind, you would also unconsciously start to create your own original ideas inside your head which many is inspired by the books you’ve just read. *cough* read fantasy *cough* I never get over how the hell the authors could be so creative.

3. Improve Knowledge.

Actually, there’s a lot to discuss about this part. We will get back to this deeper later on. However, one common thing everyone must know is every books contain knowledge, every books are useful, every books are feeding readers new ideas and information. Including novels or even children story. Never forget that.

↓ Moving on to the emotional aspect of reading (including novels):

4. You Are Becoming More Sympathetic.

You watch a movie, you feel. The same goes on with books. You read, you feel. Mind you, books have deeper emotion, feels and bond compare to movies. Its’ only words but it will changed your life forever. You feel for the characters and the story. If you read enough, you are going to feel for the people around you as well. Sharing love and be reasonably good is what we readers are good at.

5. You Ponder Deeper About Life.

Believe it or not, being a reader made you a thinker. You analyzed a lot, you ponder a lot. You might also think of a lot of good things and ponder about a lot bad influence happening in the world. Like how could this unfortunate events escalates into current state.

6. You Find A Friend.

In fictional world! Some might say it’s unhealthy but it’s helping for a certain degree! The feeling when you care so much about a character or even relate to it and found someone fairly similar to you feels SO GOOD. But this might have the after-effect, when you realized you probably won’t find anyone like this in real life. *I’m not even sure why this point made it to the list*

7. You Find Yourself Looking at Different Perspective.

This is one of the things I’m most grateful for being a reader. When faced with solving issues, you will try your best to understand both parties and try to put yourself on their shoes. Looking at a bigger horizon.

MY OPINION:

I do not think that you must only read educational and self-improvement books for the rest of your life. Every person have different hobbies and the same goes on with books. Every readers have different liking to books. For some, they might’ve love more educational books. For another some, they might’ve love to read more self-improvement books because it’s amazing for healing and growing.

But for some, might’ve love to read more novels with loads of genre. Fantasy, mystery, thriller, romance, crime, contemporary, you name it. I disagree that these kind of books do not bring good for readers. Despite fiction, books like these bring you knowledge that you won’t even realized exist.

♣ Let me list down several common genre:

Fantasy = Despite being a full fiction, it’s a book filled with creativity.

Romance = Despite swoony fictional characters that won’t exist in real life, you might read some random interesting facts or learn some new things regarding places that you’ve already known.

Mystery = This is my gold mine. I learned a lot of interesting stuff by this genre.

Contemporary = This genre is similar to self-improvement books with stories to begin with.

History = Give you a good cry and certain history for you to learn.

and a whole loads of other genre.

You see, each books have their own uniqueness which means, every books are important in their own way. I’m kind of a mixed reader because I read novels but I also love to read educational books and self-improvement books. I might not read hundreds of books in a year, but I love to read and I have read a lot of books to say every books are amazing.

But well, if you are reading solely for knowledge, I suggest you to read educational books with your topic of interest because none of the books could win a thoroughly research compilation of educational stuff. If you need to improve your spirituality or implementing positive mindset into your life, I suggest you to read self-improvement books. But if you are interested to learn new random stuff, I suggest novels. Books of imagination and wonders!

Again, every books are important in their own way and each have strong points in their field. But I must agree NOT every books are being written exceptionally well. If you are trying a new stuff and you do not sit well with it, I suggest you to try reading the same stuff written by other writer. Try it several times, try to find a perfect writer that match your taste, try to broaden your reading scope. Besides, it won’t hurt reading new knowledge~

Author: Celine

12 thoughts on “Should We Only Read Educational or Self-Improvement Books?

  1. Balance is a healthy goal. A lot of people struggling nowadays seem to be obsessed with fiction and a lot of “escapist” stories that demonize humanity and our place in the world. There is something to say about being “what you read” as much as what you eat.

    On the flip side, if you only read educational nonfiction you can lose a sense of wonder and imagination (as you described). With me and my kids, I try to make sure we read 1 nonfiction/educational book and then 1 fiction and switch back and forth.

    Fiction can be highly educational, but the classics offer more of that than modern “junk food” novels haha Of course, we all deserve a little “junk” every once in a while too 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh my god. You describe it so well! And I absolutely agree on how we should appreciate and love ‘what we read’ and think as highly as we do as ‘what we eat’. I’m not sure if this is true, but I think aside from eating disorder, many readers get anxiety with reading as well.

      I absolutely love your idea of how you create such a lovely reading habit with your children! You are so easygoing to let your children read both fiction and nonfiction!

      Oh the thrill and excitement of reading fiction and getting a bit of ‘junk’ out of it lol. And well, classic never goes wrong✨

      Like

  2. Fantastic points! I’ll admit I’m lucky enough to have a lot of readers in my life so I don’t get judged too often but when I do it’s so frustrating! Reading fiction can be just as educational as reading nonfiction.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I hardly ever read non-fiction now! I only did in the past as part of my studies. I love novels of almost any genre. For me, it’s the quality of the writing that’s important, but you’re quite right, a person can learn a lot through ready ‘stories’; that’s where I’ve learned most of my history. Thoughtful post, Celine 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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