I tried reading fiction books every day for 3 months. Here’s how it made me a better person.

I’ve always been an avid reader, but in recent years, my reading list had become dominated by self-help books and business biographies. Fiction, with its tales of far-off lands and complex characters, had somehow slipped out of my life.

So when a friend challenged me to spend three months exclusively reading fiction, I was intrigued. He claimed it could fundamentally change the way I viewed the world and interacted with others.

I was skeptical at first — how could reading about fictional characters and their stories possibly make me a better person? Yet, the promise of a journey into unexplored territories of literature was alluring.

And so, I decided to give it a try.

I plunged headfirst into the world of novels, immersing myself in stories ranging from classic literature to contemporary thrillers. I discovered worlds I had never imagined, met characters who became dear friends, and witnessed narratives that stirred my emotions like never before.

Along the way, I found myself growing in unexpected ways. Conversations that used to be laborious started flowing naturally as I borrowed ideas and perspectives from the characters I was reading about.

My problem-solving skills improved remarkably as subconsciously I began using strategies employed by protagonists in the books to tackle real-life situations.

But the most significant change came in my empathy level. Somehow getting to know these fictitious characters on such an intimate level made me more understanding and patient with the people in my own life.

Three months later, it wasn’t just my reading list that had changed; it was me as a person. It wasn’t just about escaping reality through books; it was about finding new facets of reality within them.

Here is my journey of transformation through fiction, a testament that attests to how fiction can indeed make one a better person in ways more profound than one might imagine.

How fiction books changed my perspective

I dived into the world of fiction, starting with classics that had been gathering dust on my bookshelf. The first book I picked was ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’ Reading about Scout’s innocence and her father’s principled stand in a racially divided society left a profound impact on me.

Next, I ventured into the world of ‘A Hundred Years of Solitude.’ The magical realism of Marquez’s storytelling transported me into another dimension, teaching me about resilience and the cyclical nature of life.

In the final month, I devoured contemporary novels like ‘The Kite Runner’ and ‘The Book Thief.’ These books, set in war-torn countries, taught me about courage and the human spirit’s strength in the face of adversity.

With each book, I found myself growing. I became more patient, understanding that everyone has a backstory. I started to communicate better, borrowing from the rich dialogue and narrative techniques in the novels.

My decision-making skills improved as I subconsciously adopted strategies used by characters in these books.

However, it wasn’t a universally accepted idea that reading fiction could result in such personal growth. Many people believed that self-help books or biographies were the only reading materials capable of such impact.

But through my journey, I discovered this was far from the truth. In the next section, I’ll delve deeper into this commonly held belief and how my experience with fiction reading has led me to see things differently.

Challenging the norm: Fiction as a tool for personal growth

The prevailing belief is that non-fiction books, especially self-help and biographies, are the best sources for personal growth. People often argue that real-life experiences and advice provide practical lessons that can be applied directly to our lives.

While these genres do offer valuable insights, my three-month journey with fiction highlighted an overlooked aspect of personal development.

Fiction, with its rich narratives and complex characters, allows us to experience a multitude of emotions, situations, and perspectives all within the safety of our imagination.

Characters in novels often face moral dilemmas, confront their fears, and struggle with relationships, mirroring many of our real-life situations.

By following their journeys, we not only empathize with them but also subconsciously learn how to navigate similar situations in our own lives.

Through my reading journey, I discovered that fiction can offer just as many life lessons as any self-help book or biography. In fact, it provides a more immersive and emotionally engaging way to internalize these lessons.

Embracing fiction: My strategy

Adapting to fiction after a long hiatus wasn’t easy. Here are the steps I took to ease this transition and make the most of it.

I started with classics that had been on my bookshelf for ages. This rekindled my love for literature without overwhelming me with contemporary styles and themes.

Next, I made reading a part of my daily routine. I dedicated at least an hour each day to read, mostly before bedtime. This not only helped me relax but also ensured I had a consistent reading schedule.

To fully absorb the lessons from each book, I began to take notes. Jotting down character traits, moral dilemmas, and key plot points allowed me to reflect on them later and see how they could apply to my own life.

Lastly, I made sure to diversify my reading list. This exposed me to a variety of cultures, time periods, and societal issues, widening my worldview.

If you’re considering incorporating fiction into your life for personal growth, these strategies might prove helpful.

Remember, the goal is not just to read more but to understand more about yourself and the world around you through the lens of these beautifully crafted narratives.

A bigger picture: Embracing personal growth

My journey with fiction books was about more than just reading; it was a voyage of self-discovery and personal growth. It challenged my preconceived notions and made me realize a few fundamental truths:

  • Taking responsibility for my personal growth was crucial. Even though the idea to read fiction came from a friend, I took charge and made it my mission.
  • Learning to think for myself was key. I moved past societal expectations that only non-fiction could provide life lessons, and discovered immense value in fiction.
  • Embracing dissatisfaction with my lack of emotional growth led me to seek new ways to improve myself.
  • Rather than resorting to blind positivity, I faced the reality of my situation.
  • I realized that personal ambitions and desires are more important than externally imposed ones.
  • And finally, I learned to question societal myths that limit potential, like the myth that fiction is just for entertainment.

This journey has not only enhanced my empathy and communication skills but it has also empowered me to take control of my personal growth. It has made me realize that societal norms or expectations should not dictate our actions or limit our potential.

If you’re feeling stuck or unsatisfied in your personal development journey, I encourage you to try something out of your comfort zone. Just like how I discovered the transformative power of fiction, you might stumble upon your own unique path to growth.

I’ve found this Goodreads list quite helpful in selecting diverse fiction books that have contributed significantly to my personal growth journey.

It’s not about the destination, but the journey of self-exploration and learning along the way. Embrace your path and reshape your reality.

Mia Zhang

Mia Zhang blends Eastern and Western perspectives in her approach to self-improvement. Her writing explores the intersection of cultural identity and personal growth. Mia encourages readers to embrace their unique backgrounds as a source of strength and inspiration in their life journeys.

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