In college, where the workload and stress are excessive, we may not all be fans of immersing ourselves in literary worlds. Especially if such immersion occurs because we have a reading list that is longer than the driveway leading up to our college.
Sometimes we are force-fed with literary works that repulse us, but we would have loved them if we were to enjoy them and understand them properly in our free time. Here is how to understand the importance of literature and change your mind about your reading list.
Author and Work Background
If you simply cannot relate to the events of your current book to read, fear not. You may be uninterested in the ins and outs of the gossip on a plantation of bananas. Having researched the author's background and their reasons to write such a work you could understand how important it is.
For example, the racist undertones of the society in that period that the author witnessed firsthand, the social inequality, the price of hard labor under the scorching sun. Literature is the megaphone that addresses issues, and if you look deep into it enough you can find traces of the same problems still thriving around.
In order to fully appreciate the work, make sure to find out the main themes. It is said that there are a few layers of understanding a literary piece. You could read it just from the outer level, the shell of the work, and find out the plain side of the story.
A sad story about a soldier leaving his wife behind to fight in the war may seem a work like many, but when you read it from the point of view of the inner level, you could understand the cruelness of war, the meaning behind this particular war, the strength of the women at home waiting for their husbands.
When you feel like you have no idea why particular characters act the way they do, you could research further about the history, their location, their cultural and psychological differences from the people you are used to.
While reading such literature you could find out more about something you have never thought of: how did people in the past protect their hair from lice, how do people in other parts of the world celebrate weddings.
Think about the story from the engineering point of view. How does it function as a whole? Paying attention to such small details as the frequency of dialogues, the length of paragraphs, the placement of cliffhangers, the usage of metaphors and quotes can considerably enlighten you about a certain novel and even shift your worldview and perception of writing, not to mention increase your own skills.
All in all, if you remain untouched by the deeper side of a novel or simply have no interest in the settings and topics, think about your own feelings while reading the work.
Do you feel frightened, repulsed, happy, curious while reading it? If it makes you feel any emotion at all, find out what are the reasons behind such emotions. A writer's purpose is fulfilled if he can convey a story that makes you feel.