Why Reading Fantasy Books Is Ideal For Your Mental Health

I have been collecting books for over a decade now, so the two floor-to-ceiling shelves that I had custom-made in my room were already filled to the brim. It started when I went on a book sale to accompany my best friend, who was a bookworm at the time. While browsing through the shop, I got interested in the fantasy book series that I found. However, some books were missing, so I begged my mother to let me visit the local bookstore. That’s where I bought a complete set of Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling — the first ones I loved and will forever cherish. Still, I did not consider fantasy as my favorite genre back then.

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I only realized that I loved fantasy books when I read The Hunger Games, Max Rider, Alex Rider, and even Goosebumps, and I wanted more. Soon enough, I was the one pulling my best friend to books sales and bookstores, looking for other novels I might not have heard of before. That did not stop even when I went away for college and could not take all my paperbacks and hardbounds with me. I would re-read the old ones whenever I was at home, but I added more stuff to my collection as I felt the need to buy more books while I stayed in the apartment.

The thing was, when I started working, and my parents realized that my love for fantasy books did not fade, they teased me for being childish. They wanted to donate or sell everything, saying that my room already looked like a storage unit because of them. Of course, I refused, that’s why I ended up calling a carpenter to make the shelves for me. I thought, “Mom and Dad were only like that because they did not understand the benefits of reading fantasy books for a person’s mental health.”

In case you haven’t got a clue either, let me share a few of them.

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It Keeps Your Imagination Alive

Being imaginative is an excellent skill to keep even when you are already an adult. It livens up your life; it helps you think outside the box, especially when you face a problem that seems too impossible to shake. Without a healthy imagination, you may be stuck in your head while trying to fix your worries.

Before I found the fantasy books that I loved, I was a whiny kid. I always cried to my parents whenever I could not get something done. However, it all changed once I began reading fantasy novels and seeing that other kids around my age could resolve huge problems without much help from adults. I started using my imagination to get out of a rut I was in; when it worked, I no longer had difficulty dealing with my issues.

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It Prevents Your Mind And Heart From Growing Old

I have always been a fan of Peter Pan and the fact that he will never grow old. I loved the story even before I even knew Harry Potter, Alex Rider, or Katniss Everdeen. I remembered crying to my mother back then because I was afraid of growing old and dying.

Well, I have overcome my dreams of never growing old years ago. It was partly because I figured out that it was inevitable and because I found a way to keep my heart and mind young – by reading fantasy books. True enough, although another decade passed, I managed to look at the world with a wide-eyed expression and not feel jaded by my experiences, no matter how much they try to drain the life out of me.

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It Takes You In Another (Worry-Free) Realm

Although I am only in my mid-20s, I already know that being an adult and taking on many responsibilities is enough to keep my stress level high. It is impossible for me not to worry about rent and other bills, especially when the end of the month comes and my salary has not arrived in my bank account yet.

I hate that feeling more than anything in the world. Luckily, I have my fantasy books to take me into another realm all the time. Even if it’s only for a few hours, it’s enough for me to be able to sneak away from reality and realize that even the fictional characters have more significant problems than I do. That’s how I have kept myself sane while waiting for a promotion and making ends meet.

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Bottom Line

People always say that life is not like a fairytale, and I have always believed them. What happens in the books does not always – or may never – happen in real life. Despite that, it does not mean that you cannot enjoy fantasizing about living in another world once in a while and learning from the characters whose travails you are reading about.

Try reading fantasy books before you turn your back on it. Cheers!

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