I have been asked this age old question ever since I first started sharing my reading experiences with other book lovers.
The very first time I was asked this question, I really did not know how to answer it. It was quite embarrassing to be honest. There was one good thing that came out of the experience however.
This question sparked my curiosity and truly made me wonder: why read fantasy? For weeks I dug deep into the far reaches of my mind to uncover the answer.
Today I will be sharing my findings with you with the hope that you will one day become a full-fledged fantasy book fanatic!
The biggest appeal of the fantasy genre is that it grants freedom from reality and fuel for your imagination. Few other reading genres can offer these unique privileges because their narratives are confined to reality. The fantasy genre has no such bounds.
There are a few exceptions where readers choose the fantasy genre for reasons other than the ones listed above. These fascinating, lesser known caveats have helped to subtly bolster the fantasy genre into popularity.
1.) Offers An Escape From Reality
Unlike other reading genres, the fantasy genre opens up a portal into an entirely unfamiliar world. There is nothing better than finding a fantasy book that pulls you in and takes you to a land beyond reality.
There are very few stress outlets that provide a liberation from the world as you know it.
You get to pick the destination. The castles of medieval times. The vast outreaches of space.
Anything is possible within the fantasy genre, which is why this particular reading genre can cater to almost anyone’s literature cravings.
2.) Sparks Imagination
The sparks of imagination that come from reading the fantasy genre are unmatched.
With all of the otherworldly settings you can find yourself in, your mind sees things in peculiar ways when you come back to reality.
When you are waiting around allowing your mind to wander, you won’t be simply staring at a wall in boredom. Rather, you will be staring at a wall in boredom thinking about the repercussions of the latest chapter you read in your fantasy novel.
The unforeseen betrayal. The duel of dragons. The clash of titans.
Fantasy books add some spice to your life that help break up the monotony of the day.
3.) Helps Develop a Reading Habit
Nothing ignites a reading habit more than a good fantasy book. It is almost like watching a show on television, but better for your brain.
I remember when I was trying to get back to reading on a regular schedule, I tried to read on the train ride to work.
At first, I read the newspaper. When that did not spark my interest, I started delving into non-fiction narratives. Once I gave that up and took a break for a few months, I stumbled on gold.
That gold helped me to establish a daily reading routine that I have yet to break. That gold, ladies and gentlemen, was the fantasy reading genre.
4.) Easy to Fall in Love with the Characters
When you think of some of your favorite fictional characters ever, who do you think of? A dragonslayer? A space cowboy?
The fantasy reading genre provides some of the most compelling characters not only in reading, but in general entertainment. It is so easy to follow in the footsteps of a well-written protagonist.
Often times, these characters are not flawless. These flaws add to their overall appeal and make them easily relatable. These human-like qualities combined with their acts of heroism paradoxically make these characters both larger than life and down to earth at the same time.
To this day, I still idolize some of my childhood fantasy heroes.
5.) Stories That Aren’t Boring
It is practically painless to get through a good fantasy novel.
Compared to other genres, fantasy is much more intriguing to put it bluntly. There is always something going on.
A self-development book or romance novel certainly has its place in reading, however, there are much more dry spells in these types of novels.
If I am reading, I want to make it as easy on myself as possible to keep turning the page. With fantasy, I rarely have any troubles with reading a novel to its completion.
6.) Effortless Pastime
You can read a good fantasy novel almost anywhere at any time.
This is not a recreational activity that requires a lot of time and effort like hiking or skiing. You do not have to travel anywhere or purchase any expensive gear.
All you really need is a library membership and a passion for reading. It takes me little to no work to find a solid reading nook to engage in my favorite pastime.
7.) Expands Your Comfort Zone
People always talk about pushing the boundaries and taking that leap of faith. I urge you to experiment with the fantasy genre even if it seems outside of your realm of hobbies.
This actually happened to be the case for me. Initially, I never thought that I would ever fall in love with reading. I ruled it out as a possibility of a hobby simply because I never would give it a shot.
Once I took that step outside my comfort zone, it felt so good to unearth a newfound obsession. You never know what lies on the other side of a closed door. I encourage you to open the door to possibility.
8.) Makes You Smarter
Of course, reading has all kinds of benefits for your mind. Reading expands your vocabulary.
You can sound more nuanced and elegant whenever you socialize with people. Reading allows you to access the mind of some of the great thinkers in our time. The exposure to new perspectives encourages you to evaluate real life situations from all angles and dimensions.
Reading empowers you to better formulate your own thoughts and communicate them to the world. Why not pursue the smartest version of yourself?
9.) Get to Share Some of Your Favorite Quotes
There is something about busting out some witty remark from my fantasy reading that makes me smile inside.
Seeing other people’s reactions when they think that I came up with such genius on my own. Even better.
I have come across many magnificent quotes in my fantasy readings. Some days I like to wake up and read these powerful quotes to begin the day. Needless to say, these quotes have a variety of ways you can put them to use.
10.) Inspiration to Branch Off Into New Hobbies
This may be a bit of an overlooked benefit to reading fantasy books, however, it is a genuine perk that should not be undervalued.
This could just be the start to something that may alter your entire lifestyle.
For example, ever since I have taken up reading fantasy novels, I have explored other avenues of hobbies because of it. Writing has become my latest occupation and I have grown to enjoy it more and more every day. Even this blog post sprung out of my fantasy readings!
11.) Added Pleasure to Watching Movies
A select few fantasy series have made their way to the big screen.
Harry Potter. Narnia. Lord of the Rings. All of these classic movies stemmed from fantasy novels.
If you do find yourself reading a book that has found its way into the movie theaters, you get the added satisfaction of seeing your favorite protagonists with your own eyes. You get to join a loyal fandom and see your visualizations strikingly come to life.
12.) Fills The Fantasy Void Left By Game of Thrones
I think we can all say that we are a little upset to see this series go.
Game of Thrones was an epic television series and I was delighted to be a part of the ride. But this series is officially gone… and the fantasy void left by this series is unbearable.
Game of Thrones fans, I present to you a solution. Take up fantasy reading and find your new Game of Thrones! We all need a fantasy hero like Jon Snow in our lives. Your mission if you choose accept it: Find that next fantasy hero.
Why does fantasy matter?
Fantasy continually pushes the creative bounds of writing and inspires people everywhere to chase a world beyond their own. An impact of this magnitude cannot be quantified, only recognized.
What are the benefits of reading fantasy?
The answer to this ties directly into the reasons to why you should read fantasy.
Reading fantasy expands your perspective, stimulates a creative park and describes otherworldly characters. Other reading genres simply cannot offer these benefits the way the fantasy genre can.