Medicinal Escapism

Novels in a Polish bookstore
Novels in a Polish bookstore (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today’s daily prompt has a literary feel to it.

“When reading for fun, do you usually choose fiction or non-fiction? Do you have an idea why you prefer one over the other?”

The answer to the question is easy, I read fiction. That’s not to say that I don’t read non-fiction books. I’ve got a few around OCD, irrational thoughts and every QI book released but nine times out of ten I will always go for reading a fiction book.

The answer to why is for the same reason that I enjoy playing video games, and watching films. Fiction is another, possibly even the perfect form of escapism. TV, video games and films don’t insist that you use your imagination anywhere near the level a book does though the stories do have the advantage of being in smaller bit-size chunks. Escapism allows us to forget the crappier things in life and all the shite that fate has thrown our way and get lost in an infinite amount of worlds and stories.

When I get lost in a book, I no longer think about my soul-crushing job, or the fact that I’m failing to learn to drive every single week, or any of those pointlessly silly (yet gloriously overgrown in my mind) things I stress and worry about on a daily basis. I especially love the one where I feel bad for feeling bad about my crap, because there are people out there with worse going on than I have. That’s a corker, that one.

Non-fiction books just don’t give me that escape from myself (which I guess is the basic crux of this). I know some people who love swimming in a sea of facts finding out about Mary Queen of Scots one moment then picking up and reading a book on botany, the next.

It must be why I want to a published writer. When I write I get the escapism my mind needs and because I am controlling the world I’m writing about, my control freak side gets an extra order of happy.

So which do you prefer, fiction or non-fiction, and do you know why?

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