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.