I have made no secret of the fact that I like good literature. (To be honest, I’m not terribly picky. I like a good story whether it qualifies as “literature” or not.) And I think there are good reasons that everyone should read fiction regularly. (See 6 Reasons You Should “Waste” Your Time Reading Fiction.) So I resonate deeply with this new video from The School of Life on what literature is good for.
The video highlight four benefits of good literature:
- It saves you time.
- It makes you nicer.
- It’s a cure for loneliness.
- It prepares you for failure.
And I think the video is correct on all four. But my favorite is the idea that literature saves you time. Rather worry about whether fiction as a waste of time, the video points out that there is no other way to “experience” the world from so many different perspectives and in so many different ways. It would take a lifetime to experience even a portion of what you can get through literature. We need to have some experiences of our own, of course, but we can expand that by having the kind of mediated experiences that literature offers.
If you’re still not convinced, check out the full video for yourself. It’s worth five minutes.