Monday, August 11, 2008
in defense of fiction
Five or so years ago, I was explaining to a non-reader friend how hot and bothered I was getting about the release of some new fiction book. Using that pedantic tone that so many male high school science teachers seem to favor, he smirked and told me that he considers reading - in particular fiction reading - to be a waste of time, that whenever he reads fiction he feels a sort of guilt that he isn't using his time in a more meaningful way, and that non-fiction is pretty much the only thing worth an intelligent person's time. (I'm sure you can see why he and I aren't so close anymore.  He's a bit of an ass.)

Anyway, I wish I could have referenced this study at the time, finding “...a positive association between exposure to narrative fiction and social abilities, and the opposite pattern for expository non-fiction." Basically, that the more narrative fiction one reads the better one's social skills, and that those who primarily read expository non-fiction tend to be more socially deficient.  Ha! Take that sucka! 

However, despite my passion and pluck I think I ultimately lost that particular argument for fiction because I had no such study to point to at the time, and he's the sort of person who won't accept the validity of any point without a proper scientific study to back it up.  

Again, he's a science teacher.  (And also a bit of an ass.)


LOL! That is an awesome piece of data, and it would so put Mr. Science Teacher (hehe) in his place! You just might have to find a way to bring the conversation up again just so you can use it ;).

Blogger PAK said...

If someone ever said something like that to me, I'd just turn around and walk away. To continue talking to them would be like having a conversation with a walrus. Amusing, perhaps, but ultimately nothing resembling real conversation could happen because we have so little in common.

Blogger Gregg said...

Reading is a waste of time, eh? Yeah. Hard to argue with, that.

And this is coming from an educator!!

(I think the parentheticals go a long way in accurately describing the person.)

Blogger Mrs. White said...

(Gregg, you have no idea.)

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