Why it’s Important to Read Books that Deal with Difficult Topics

A loss of a loved one, body shaming, mental health – these are just some examples of topics that are difficult to write about.

When a writer is creating their story, they may decide they want to add something into it that will make a person sympathize with the characters on a deeper level. Maybe the writer just likes generally sad books because they feel touched by them, and want to write their own, or they’ve experienced something similar in their life and want to express their feelings in their writing.

Making the reader feel strongly about something is what all authors strive to do. Why are the best stories so popular? They have a way of captivating you, of making you feel like this is a true story and that you need to know what happens next. If a writer fails to do this, then until they learn how, they’re simply not a good writer.

I think we’ve all read that one story that just… breaks us. That breaks our heart to its very core. That’s still on our mind after we’ve finished it.

Some people hate reading books like this, because they make you feel for a character that isn’t even real.

But at the same time, no matter how sad it makes us, we know we’ve experienced something unique that we won’t find anywhere else. Something changes in us. We look at the world differently because of it. Books like this are rare, and the fact that an author managed to make us feel as if the characters from their imagination are real is astounding.

But why is it important that readers experience books that deal with difficult issues? Why don’t we decide to instead only write books about happy topics, books that always have a perfect ending?

Inspirational Characters

Reading stories that you can relate to in some way can give you an emotional outlet.

A way of doing this is to have inspirational characters. Having characters that you can relate to will help you feel less alone, and you’ll have someone to look up to when you need them most.

Just like every character in a story, every human faces obstacles that they need to get past. If we begin to lose hope, it can be uplifting when we read about a character similar to us who faced roadblocks.

A New View of the World

In a book, we get to see from a specific character’s perspective how the plot plays out in their eyes. This means that we’re probably taking the side of said character, since it’s the only point of view that we’re reading the story from.

But once we get to read from another character’s perspective, and choose which one we agree with most, we start to become more empathetic.

While we’re reading, we’re also developing our skills in understanding and empathizing with characters, which in turn will help us in real life situations.

When reading books that deal with difficult topics, we can begin to understand how people who face similar problems may feel. We start to see the world around us in a different light, not just by what we’ve experienced, but by what a story’s characters have as well. This gives us an opportunity to form our own opinions and empathize with others on a stronger and deeper level.

Life Isn’t Meant to be Perfect

The beautiful thing about books is that, no matter how fictional, it still captures an essence of real life.

Stories find ways to seem real to the reader, and part of that is by the issues that characters have to overcome throughout the story. The book just wouldn’t be good if the main character hadn’t run into a problem or two along the way.

Even if the story is fictional in the end, it still impacts each of our lives in very real ways, and it’s nice to know that we’re not alone.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash


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