Sumit Pokharel and Kiran Lama

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Published On: January 11, 2018 08:32 AM NPT By: Sumit Pokharel and Kiran Lama

Learning through imagination or reality: What's your cup of tea?

Undoubtedly, reading books is a good habit which enhances our IQ level and imagination. It is also a productive medium to pass some leisure time. As we know that there are works of non-fiction and fiction, the choice varies according to people’s preferences. To those who do not read novels and other works of literature, the terms might be entirely new.

Firstly, fiction novels, story books, poetry, plays and other forms literature deal with the world of fantasy where the author takes the reader into an adventure and imaginary journey. The ‘Harry Porter’ series by JK Rowling or ‘Muna Madan’ by Laxmi Prasad Devkota are all works of fiction. 

In contrast to fiction, non-fiction is another genre of literature that is based on truth and fact like biographies, theories, researches and history. Non-fiction books are more for learning and record keeping.‘The Sixth Extinction’ by Elizabeth Kolbert, ‘Dreams from My Father’ by Barack Obama are some works of non-fiction. 

Nevertheless, book aficionados sometimes love both the genres, while other times stick to the one kind for a long period of time. Some find fiction full of adventure while others find non-fiction more truthful. 

To know that people from different walks of life prefer the works of fiction or non-fiction, My City’s Sumit Pokharel and Kiran Lama talked to writer Amar Neupane, winner of Madan Puraskar for ‘Seto Dharti’, and to several students.

Amar Neupane, Author 

I prefer both fiction and non-fiction genres; but fiction is my comfort zone. In fiction, I as a writer, can reveal truth without hurting others. While in the case of non-fiction it is not totally based on factual things though it deals with realism. Because in my point of view, truth is always harsh and no one can write 100 percent truth so, if in case anyone writes anything based on non-fiction, it will create a controversy in the future. Indeed, I am always in favor of fiction works, while ‘Sumnima’ by Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala and ‘Siddhartha’, by Hermann Hesse is my favorite list in the fiction genre. In ‘Sumnima’, Koirala has successfully portrayed philosophy about life, and it taught me more than I ever learnt from the holy book ‘Geeta’. Moreover, I also like a poem of ‘Sagarmatha Ko Gairaima’ by Nawraj.

Tribhuvan Dhakal (24), Studies engineering in Bangalore, India

Well, since non-fiction deals with truth, accuracy, realism, it is my cup of tea. In comparison to fiction, non-fiction books are the mirror of society which always reflects facts based on research. Besides,such books also enhance our IQ level. My favorite books are ‘Aadha Bato’ and ‘Karnali Blues’ because these books unfold the true status of Nepali culture. 

Bigyan Ghimire (20), Student at Nepal Engineering College


I like a mixture of both fictional and non-fictional novels. I like reading both of these genres, almost as if a mother would love both her children. There’s a certain difference in my taste in Nepali and English novels by the way. Nepali novels have a superb non-fictional way about them, thus I prefer the same genre when it comes to reading novels by Nepali novelists. English novels are more fictional friendly according to me. Take an example of ‘Harry Potter’ for instance; it’s such a good novel series which extends one’s imagination to such a great degree. Nepali novels by author like Subin Bhattarai are quite popular because the stories are based within the realistic way of life and the readers can relate them to their own personal life to a great extent. ‘Palpasa Café’, ‘Raktakunda’ and ‘Zero Cottage’ are some of my favorite novels.

Neelah Suwal (18), High school graduate

I’m not a regular book reader but I do read some novels occasionally. There’s a certain enjoyment in reading novels that one doesn’t get elsewhere. I like reading non-fictional books. Fictional books take one away from the realms of the reality, but a non-fictional book proves one that it’s not really necessary to go away from reality for enjoyments or applications. Take one example for instance, the book ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’ teaches a person that doesn’t know anything about economics and accounting to such a degree, and with such entertainment as well. Basically, that book has information very similar to the ones we have in our accounting curriculum, but every reader gets attracted to learning it. This doesn’t mean fictional books are not required, they are superb as well. I suggest people who are interested in reading books to check out both the genres. 

Saloni Khadka (16), Student at St Xavier’s College

Fictional books are my cup of tea. Non-fictional books are good for sure, but fictional books have their own magic. Human brain is an extraordinary thing; it stretches as much as you try to stretch it. Imaginations aren’t bound to only reality in the first place, especially when it comes to reading books. Books make one picture the stories or events more vividly and understandably in the first place, now combine that with fictional entertainment. Non-fictional books, in a way, put us under a certain chain and we aren’t allowed to go beyond it, but fictional imaginations are as free as one likes. ‘Kite Runner’, ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ and‘Tuesdays With Morrie’ are some of my favorite fictional novels. 

Smriti Dahal (16), Student at St Xavier’s College

There’s just a certain charm in fiction books which gives enjoyment like no other genre. Non-fictional novels help the readers to learn about the societal issues and many things around the world from different perspective with the fulcrum rotating around entertainment, but that’s not all a book can have. What if the book goes beyond just reality into things we never imagined would happen? It’s just a book and imagination at the end of the day; why not take enjoyments from something we are not accustomed to in our real lives in addition to what we already are experiencing? That’s the beauty about fictional books, reality gets quite boring at times and we need a bit of refreshment. My favorite fictional novels include ‘Alchemist’, ‘Hunger Games’ and ‘Pilgrims’.

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