If you’re a proud and certified bibliophile like I am, you probably would have been caught on different occasions, especially at places where it “seems” reading can’t possibly occur, and that someone who doesn’t or rarely ever reads, starts up a conversation to you—because bibliophiles are such rare creatures out in the wild 🙄. If this hasn’t happened to you, that doesn’t make you any less of a bibliophile, just this happens a lot to me and I can’t help but believe it happens to others also.
These conversations get me offended more often than not because a lot of people have had various versions of this conversation with me: That people who read fiction don’t know the difference between fiction and reality.
I know the difference, like the difference, is so huge. First a foremost when I pick up a fictional book, I always bear in mind the meaning of F I C T I O N.
1. literature in the form of prose, especially novels, that describes imaginary events and people. synonyms: novels, stories, creative writing, imaginative writing, works of the imagination, prose literature, narration, story telling
2. something that is invented or untrue.”they were supposed to be keeping up the fiction that they were happily married” synonyms: fabrication, invention, lies, fibs, concoction, untruth, falsehood, fantasy, fancy, illusion, sham, nonsense.
With that explanation out of the way, there’s no way I confuse them, because fiction is an imitation of life, there might be similar occurrences or talk of real-life occasions and what not, but ultimately a fictional work, is the creative and imaginative work of an author, that should never be confused as reality.
I find it odd, that these people don’t bring up this same topic when they discuss their love for motion pictures. Aren’t they fictional works also? Why is it okay to watch movies, without subjecting anyone to their unwarranted opinion of how these movies can be mistaken for reality? But when it comes to bibliophiles they must share this.
I have book boyfriends and best friends, there’s a distinction—book, the word book means they aren’t real, we know they are fictional characters, with characteristics that we can only hope humans have. But that doesn’t mean I’m searching for this kind of characters and only people with their characteristics in reality. It doesn’t work that way. I’m sure you understand the point I’m trying to make but failing, lol.
After I argue this points with them, about how I am aware that fiction isn’t real, because our reality is such a hard pill to swallow most times and life doesn’t usually work the way it does in fictional work. They end their argument with, but not all readers know this and believe life works like a fairytale or has a Happily Ever After ending.
I don’t know any reader that believes life works like a fairytale. That read fictional books and expect their lives to portray what they read. (If that’s the case for you, then that’s unhealthy. you’re setting yourself up for a whole lot of hurt. trust me) Do you know any reader who believes life is like the fiction novels they read? Do you?
3 thoughts on “Knowing the Difference Between Reality & Fiction.”
Hi Lara. I’m grateful I found this post and truthfully it really makes me smile. The conversation of Fiction vs Reality and being able to tell the difference between the two has actually never been something that a non-reader has questioned me on. Mostly I’ve been questioned by other readers – about genres and glorification of certain traits. Their idea is that since we glorify such men + women – we would in essence look for them in reality and thus end up hurt. Which I find to be totally offhanded and quite insulting to say the least. My notion is that if you are a reader of fiction – you as the reader should know how to tell the difference and if you can’t. Put the book down.
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First, your message has made my day! It’s so nice that my words from years ago still resound with people in 2022. And it’s sad, how this is still a thing I really get annoyed today because unlike before, these days everyone has a take and is always trying to shove/shame people for what they read when it really isn’t that deep most of the time. Take it easy out there!
Hi Lara, I loved reading this post because that’s a subject I often think about without really realizing it. One of my favorite quote from Harry Potter is “Of course it’s happening inside your head Harry, but why on earth should that mean it’s not real.” because it pretty much sums up my thoughts. I just think that things happen on different levels of reality. What I mean is that what happens In the physical realm should not prevent me from being attracted to characteristics from my favorite book or movie characters because trust me, those feelings are very much real even when the actual characters aren’t.
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