It can be an addiction for some, and for those it can be hard to understand the aversion that others seem to hold for it. Many people fall somewhere between these two extremes, most people do it in some form. But, why do we read stories?
Many people say reading fiction is an escape. Going into another world, which is different to our own. Is our own world so bad? For some it is and therefore books must seem like a raft taking them to safety. Most of us have a fairly comfortable life, but with comfort often comes monotony, then we are searching for the different. That could mean magical worlds filled with mythical beasts, or it could simply involve being transported to distant lands that we wish we could visit.
Not every story is positive and uplifting, that would be far too uninteresting. So, sometimes, we read sad and taught tales which will teach us how lucky we are. Seeing life through the eyes of a victim can give us the empathy that is so often lacking in our race. It can also help to increase our gratitude for our own lives.
Humans have always loved stories, we just seem to be made that way. Tales have been spun around campfires, as well as in pubs. These tales could have had a purpose, to keep family traditions alive, or even to impose a code of conduct. Whatever the reason, it has been a part of us for a long time, and I cannot see any reason for that changing.
We have amazing imaginations, which can work both for and against us. So we rely on story tellers to fill our minds with tales of adventure, horror, or humanity. I hope they never stop, and that I can make my own small contribution too
Words © Neil Hayes and neilhayeswrites