Why Read Fanfiction?

Welcome to Fanfiction Friday, your passport into the world of fanfiction! If you’re just joining us now, you’ll probably want to pop over to the introductory vocabulary post first, unless you’re already a fanfic veteran. This week, we’re learning about the reasons why someone might want to read fanfiction.

Last week, we learned about the cardinal rule of fanfiction—namely, when NOT to read a fic and just politely move along. If you’re new to fanfiction, you might now be wondering why you WOULD want to read fanfiction. Fear not! This post is here to answer your questions. And if you’re a fanfic veteran, hopefully this will be a handy post to show your friends who don’t understand your fic obsession,

There are three main reasons in my book for why to read fanfiction. I present them here, in no particular order.

1. It’s fun.

This is the top reason for doing basically anything so really it’s a no brainer. Fanfic is legal (more or less—more on this in a future post), unlike some fun things I could name. Also, a lot of it is freely available—like seriously, a ton of it. And whatever kind of thing you like to read, someone’s probably written it for your fandom (unless your fandom is really obscure, in which case you can be the first one to write it!).

2. It’s wish fulfillment at its finest.

Have you ever been watching a show? A really, really great show? And then it ended? Or it went on for a really long time and then they finally announced it was going to end? Or it should have ended but then they kept it going for a really long time? Or maybe it was really great and it got cancelled. Which, rude. Anyways.

Or maybe it’s not a show. Maybe it’s a book. A really, really great book. And there was only one. It should’ve been a series, but it was a one-off. Or maybe it IS a series, but the next one hasn’t come out yet. Or maybe the author got bored with it, and stopped writing it. Which, again, rude. Or maybe they died. Which, RIP. Anyways.

Not naming any names, but I think we all know which shows and which books I’m talking about here. And the point is, when the above-mentioned shows and books have you frustrated, fanfiction is your friend. Your finest, very bestest friend. Because whatever has you frustrated, I can guarantee you that someone has written a fic that makes it better. (And again, if you fandom is really obscure and it turns out no one has, you can be the first!)

3. Reading enriches your mind.

Now there are some people who would disagree with me—in fact there are probably a lot of people who would disagree with me, because unfortunately, I’ve met them—but I am of the opinion that reading, regardless of the material, enriches your mind. It is far, far beyond the scope of one bullet point in this post to get into the whole debate of whether only “good” literature enriches the mind or whether all literature does—tune in next week for that. All I’m going to say right now is that reading fanfiction does, in fact, enrich the mind, and this is a hill I’m willing to die on.

That concludes this week’s edition of Fanfiction Friday. Happy reading!

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