Why do you read fiction? (My first poll!)

People seem to have a lot of different reasons for reading fiction. Publishers guess at these reasons and try to gauge their offerings accordingly. Writers engage in heated debates about what fiction is for—mostly, it seems, with the goal of justifying their own type of writing. But I’m interested in what you, as a reader, think. What moves you most often to pick up a novel?

Feel free to answer in the comments as well. Later I’ll share with you why I read fiction—and why I write it.

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This entry was posted in Reading.

5 comments on “Why do you read fiction? (My first poll!)

  1. Adriane says:

    For a lot of us, I think escapism has something to do with why we read fiction- at least in part. I enjoy taking a break from here and now and being able to imagine another place and time, identify with a character, an become engrossed in someone else’s story. And one of the great things about it is that that story continues at MY pace. I read when it’s convenient for me, and the book is always there waiting for me to pick up where I left off.

    • Good point, Adriane. I thought after I created the poll that perhaps I should have included “escapism” as an option, but thought perhaps it could be subsumed under “entertainment.” (Actually the poll plugin was giving me fits as I tried to figure out how to make it work!)

  2. Anastasia K Bond says:

    Perhaps the ultimate draw is the chance to identify with a character who is victorious over their trials.

  3. Jan Bear says:

    I wanted to click entertainment and vicarious experience, because for me it has to be both.

    I also think the process of going through a story — not just a day in the life of a generic 19th-century woman — but Elizabeth Bennett’s problem, journey, and solution — satisfies a soul-level longing in every human being.

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