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A 15-Year-Old’s Take on Reading Fiction. Is It a Waste of Time?

Read on and discover some cool aspects and benefits of reading fiction.


Fiction has always piqued my interest and continues to do so. Whether it’s a classic or a teenage romance, I’m in for that.

But is it a waste of time? Is there any other benefits of reading fiction in addition to some obvious ones, for instance, vocabulary building?

“How reading The Kissing Booth is different from watching its movie adaptation on Netflix?” I ask myself.

So I went down the rabbit hole to find out if there are any benefits to reading fiction.

Reading fiction increases vocabulary size more than reading non-fiction

Although we are not consciously measuring when our vocabulary-building is better—while we read fiction or non-fiction.

But it’s quite evident that we come across a great variety of words when we’re reading fiction, substantially more compared to non-fiction.

This way it’s obvious that reading fiction is more effective in enriching your vocabulary than non-fiction.

And this online survey conducted by proves the same.

A chart showing a correlation between vocabulary strength and reading fiction. Source:

We can clearly notice the correlation between reading fiction and average vocabulary size. It’s relatively simpler with around 280,000 responses, isn’t it? And that demonstrates the clear benefit of reading fiction on our vernacular skills.

Reading fiction helps with social cognition, empathy, and personality development

Many types of research show the direct relation of reading fiction with an improved sense of empathy.

Research in psychology has also suggested that reading fiction can improve individuals’ social-cognitive abilities. (Source)

Not only this, but reading fiction also helps in better understanding of our surroundings and the world in general. Research has also convinced that reading fiction makes people behave better, per this BBC article.

All in all, reading fiction helps a lot in our personality development. And we all know how important of a quality it has become to succeed in any walk of life, be it personal or professional.

Reading fiction aids creativity, fosters better relationships, and develops EQ

These can all be characterised as soft skills. And yes, they are. We rarely, if ever, try to improve in these areas.

But reading fiction has been found as an easy yet effective way to develop soft skills like these.

Christine Seifert writes in an article published in Harvard Business Review:

“Recent research in neuroscience suggests that you might look to the library for solutions; reading literary fiction helps people develop empathy, theory of mind, and critical thinking.”

She further writes: when we read, we hone and strengthen several different cognitive muscles, that are the root of the EQ.

To conclude

GIF via

Reading fiction is clearly not a waste of time. It aids in developing areas of our life and personality that non-fiction simply can not. It helps in making sense of the world, empathising with others, increasing our EQ, etc.

More than anything, reading fiction is an exploration of the world someone else has weaved. And we get to live their lives for a short time. How cool is that!

A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies.

On that note, I’d like to end this article. I hope you found it interesting. Read more in this list.

This article is a part of “A 15-Year-Old’s Take On” series. I’ll be turning 16 on March 16 and I just want to document how I feel or think about certain topics (at this age). And maybe just reflect on them in the future.

Stay tuned for the next story in this series. Follow me, VRITANT and this publication, SERENDIPITY so you don’t miss the upcoming ones.☺️ Byeee!👋❤️☺️

“A 15-Year-Old’s Take On” Series

11 stories
A picture of a man
Illustration of a boy thinking



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