5 Good Reasons Why You Should Read Historical Fiction

     I love to read.  Especially books that take me far away to a new place.  Historical fiction is probably my favorite genre.  I include books that were written in historical times about the present situation and books written today about times gone by.  (Typically, the former tend to be the best.  I mean, Jane Austen wrote historical fiction a thousand times better than those who try to imitate her.)

     I realize there are people out there who do not prefer reading about history -- or even reading at all.  So today, I give you 5 Good Reasons Why You Should Read Historical Fiction.

   1. To learn

     Sometimes the best way to learn about history is reading about more than just the bare facts.  Historical fiction gives insight into the possible feelings and thoughts of those who lived back then.  Take learning to a whole new level.  History will have a deeper meaning if you read about people who might have lived in that time period.  I suggest historical fiction as an enhancement to the history you study from textbooks.

   2. To experience new places and culture -- without a time machine!

     As an American girl who knows her American history inside and out, I find historical fiction to be a fantastic way to enjoy the history of other countries, such as England, Germany, and France.  There's so much more to history than that of your own country, so reading about things that happened in another country may just give you a new perspective on what was going on at the same time in your country.  You will also be able to see all the cultural differences of history in other countries and imagine being there yourself.

   3.  To take your mind off of the world today

     Sometimes the pressures and disappointments of life today are easily remedied by a slip into the past.  After a long day of school.  When the news is distressing.  If you're bored on a rainy day or a long car ride.  There are so many reasons to distract yourself with picking up a book and reading about people whose lives may parallel your own, even from another time and place.

   4. For imagination's sake

     One thing that movies take away from you is the ability to imagine things how you want.  Books give you just enough detail to let you picture everything how they were thinking it should be but leaving enough room for your own twist.  I dislike authors who leave nothing to the imagination.  They describe things too much in detail and that can take away some of the joy of reading.  But when books give only minimal details, it's like you yourself are helping create the story.  You can visualize their outfits, their homes, the scenery, etc just the way you like it.  That's part of the fun!

   5. To make new friends

    The characters in historical fiction (or pretty much any book) become like real people to you.  For example, take my favorite historical book, Emma.  While reading Emma, I fell in love with Mr. Knightley, pitied poor Jane Fairfax, became best friends with Emma Woodhouse to whom I can completely relate, wanted to grab Frank Churchill and shake him by the shoulders, laughed over Mr. Woodhouse and his silly concerns, and ultimately disliked Mrs. Elton.  As I said in 4., reading makes you part of the story.  You feel for these people just like any real person you know.

     If you're not convinced by now, then you never will be.  But I encourage anyone who hasn't to go try not to become obsessed with period fiction.  (Oh, and read the books first before you watch the movies!)

   For those of you who already love historical fiction, what reasons would you add?  I know there are probably plenty more.


  1. These are lovely reasons and all true! What a lovely post!!
    Great blog!

    1. Oh, thank you very much, MovieCritic :)

    2. You are very welcome!
      Oh, and did you see this?

  2. Elanor, this was amazing! I could not agree more with these points, and I think you covered it all. I love the way I learn from historical fiction; I get a real sense of certain aspects of a time period and that sense, even if it's not dates and facts, stick with me for a very long time.

  3. I really agree with you! I sometimes get lost in a book and I forget anything around me, I just focus on my book. :) I don't read so much lately, but I am planning to read a lot of NEW books in this year.

    1. I have a goal to read more books this year, too.

  4. Excellent post, Elanor! Historical fiction is definitely one of the most enjoyable ways to learn history. And yes, they're often a much needed escape and refresher from real-life stuff. I love losing myself in a good book!

    Your point about authors describing things in too much detail is really good. My sister and I were actually talking about that very thing last night, because I know I have a tendency to over-explain things in my writing and she was encouraging me that as a writer you don't have to have everything spelled out exactly...some of the story must be left to the reader's own imagination. That's kind of encouraging actually. :)

    And your last point! Oh, yes. I couldn't agree more!! The friends you make when you read a good book is one of the very best parts about reading! :)

    Thanks for this post!

    ~Miss March

    P.S. Oh, and I just have to say, your new blog layout is gorgeous! Nice job on the header!! :)

    1. I'm glad you like it:) And thank you for the compliments.

  5. Just wanted to let you know that I tagged you over at my blog. There's no pressure to do the tag if you don't want to, but if you'd like to, I'd love to read your answers! :)
    Here's the link: http://marchramblings.blogspot.com/2017/01/a-period-drama-tag.html


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