Friday, March 5, 2010

Things I've Noticed: Real World Benefits of Genre Reading

Over the last seven months I've written a lot about my love of Fantasy, Horror and Science Fiction, and due to the fact that I read a lot of the stuff, I will be going on about it for a long time. Today, however, I thought I would take a look at how my favourite genres actually benefit me in the real world.

If there is one thing in my life I can say the Fantasy genre has directly helped me in, it is a love of the outdoors. I've loved camping since I was a kid, when I could go on a hike and pretend I was Hansel, trying to find my way back home, or a knight of the round table searching for the Holy Grail. In my teen years it was more likely to be scenes from Dragonlance or Lord of the Rings that played in my mind while camping, and now as a parent, I can honestly camping has become one of my favourite activites, I like the quiet, the time with my wife and kids, and the view (seen above - Jasper, AB, Canada).
-Thanks Fantasy.

From a very early age, Horror helped define my as a boy. I was the only boy in a house of girls, so I naturally gravitated towards books that I felt were especially for boys (I don't think this any more, but come on, I was under 12 and looking for something I could call my own). In my mind, horror has lead the to the theory of breaking down any problem into its component parts and attempting to solve it - Horrible ghost steals your kid? Get a teeny tiny lady to help out - Horrible god from another dimension (pictured above) taking over your city and unleashing an army of ghosts? Get some friends together and take her down (but don't cross the streams). I've always enjoyed finding the solutions to problems, and the horror genre consistently shows me that even the most terrible things can be stopped - for now.
- Thanks Horror.

Science Fictiion
In my mind, one of the best real life uses for Science Fiction is its ability to prepare you for change. As virtually every story involves a cultural, scientific, or location change, a keen reader can pick up skills and strategies for change in their own life. The key aspect I've latched onto from my favourite characters in SF is the way they are always in a state of learning or exploration about their world - it's a big part of why I'm taking part time university courses in my world, helping me develop and grow - and also, if I want to become some sort of space-librarian (the view from my potential space-office, pictured above), I'm going to need more fancy initials after my name. In the end, the best SF is about exploration, and I think it has inspired me to explore my own life.
-Thanks Science Fiction.

There are tonnes of other real-world benefits from reading genre fiction (for example, preparing for a possible zombie apocalypse means doing a lot of cardio which is good for the heart, lungs, and whichever part of you the zombies would try to eat first), I've just listed the ones that most easily come to mind for me.

1 comment:

  1. You're one profound dude, Bookmonkey!
    Thanks for the insights.