The Art of Manliness is an incredible site. They have tons and tons of man-knowledge that’s just plain useful. I’d like to draw attention to a recent article of theirs on why men should read fiction.
It strikes me that we are not particularly a “reader society” in general, but I wonder how much men are affected by this crisis of readership. As far as stereotypes go, women read romance novels and men read…what? Playboy? That’s just pornography. There isn’t much of a cultural consensus about men being readers.
The article referenced here particularly talks about the crisis of men not reading fiction. When we do tend to read, we like to focus on good, solid, factual works of literature. Maybe we’ll pick up an autobiography or a historical narrative. But do we read fiction?
When I think of books that I need to read, a great deal on the list are fiction. But they’re also the classics; I feel like I don’t “have a right” to start in on modern literature if I haven’t had my rite of passage through the classic works of literature. Fiction is my favorite; I love the imagination and ingenuity that goes into creating a story. We should love fiction because it’s an image and type of what God has already done. He created a whole world; when we write a story, we are imitating our heavenly Father. He is the author of the greatest story ever told. On that note, it’s interesting to see how many elements of the original story are in everything else. We’re made in the image of God so it’s only natural that what we write ultimately traces its origins back to what God has already written. (The first example that comes to mind is actually a movie…Wall-E, which stars a protagonist who leaves his home world to pursue his future bride, and in order to finally be with her, he must die and be resurrected. Read that sentence again with “His” substituted for “his”.)
Fiction is awesome. Pick up and read.