The Process of Reading: Literature vs. Fiction

So if you’re an avid reader you’ve might have noticed a big difference when you’re reading classic literature and fiction. Each type of novel offers a completely different experiences. Some of these major differences being:

Literature (I’m gearing more towards the classics): used to describe anything from creative writing to more technical or scientific works, but the term is most commonly used to refer to: works of the creative imagination, including works of poetry, drama, fiction, and nonfiction.

  •  can be considered one of the classics
  • some times followed by literary discussion (this counts for fiction as well)
  • has lots of symbolism and deep meanings (the kind where I might need Sparknotes as a reading guide)
  • a reflection/criticism of the people, places, and events of the time (fiction too)
  • might be a part of the literary canon
  • something you’ve might have read in school

Fiction: work of the imagination or invention, which contrasts with non-fiction (which is usually thought to be based on facts). Written works like novels, short stories, plays, and poems are fictional.

  • considered a popular piece
  • a discussion amongst friends in a more informal setting
  • is associated reading for fun/pleasure (you can do this with literature too)
  • way more usage of various genres (or at least from what I’ve experienced)
  • also might be a part of the literary canon

When I sit down to read literature:

1) I am more serious and focused.

Mainly because I have to read and look at the book in a more literary analysis way. I’m expected to come to class to discuss things from the book, plus I make sure I understand and grasp the text well.


2) Quiet Spaces

I need silence, or something close to it, so I can focus on the text.

3) Being wide awake

If I have to discuss and analyze a novel for class I need to be awake. If I’m really sleepy or tired, I can’t focus, and chances are I’ll just have to re-read the passage/chapters over again.

When I sit down to read fiction:

1) I have (try to) contain my feels.

No joke. I read some of my favorite series, and I get to a scene and spazz out! So I’m more likely to read these books at home so I don’t scare fellow pedestrians.

2) I am more likely to relax (despite what statement number  one says) with fiction.

I like reading the classics for fun too. But for me fiction is my go to for relaxing and whisking myself to far-off lands, daring sword fights, and princes in disguise (anybody get that Disney reference?)

3) My nose is stuck in the book.

No really, I’m not kidding. Like the world stops and all people/conversations cease to exist.

This is how I look when I’m interrupted while reading ,lol.

What are your reading habits for literature and fiction? Leave your thoughts in the comment.

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2 thoughts on “The Process of Reading: Literature vs. Fiction

  1. I’m so pushed for time that I tackle reading everything in the same way – whenever I can! Usually, really early in the morning when everything is quiet and then on my commute to work.

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