Discussion Post: Why I don't read gritty books

I have a confession to make:

I don't read gritty books.

Well, not often.

I don't like reading books that involve mental illnesses (except anxiety, as I can relate to that), illnesses, sexual abuse, death and other difficult topics that many people have to face in this day and age. I know many people will disagree with me but this is how I personally feel towards this subject. 

Reading is something I've always enjoyed. It allows me to be people I could never be and go to places that I could never visit. It's a way to enter a new world and befriend incredible people. I feel as if I don't want to read books dealing with such "gritty" subjects as there's so many of these tragic happenings occurring in the world every single day. If you switch on the news there's things on wars and illnesses and all kinds of tragic things that make me sad because I can just imagine how terrible and horrible it must be for these people experiencing it. I think that's why we find reading so appealing, it helps block out the painful predicaments that often occur in reality.

It makes me sad to think that the aforementioned things actually happen. And no, I'm not turning a blind eye to it, I'm acknowledging it and I know about these things, but that's why when I pick up a book, I don't want to be reading about the horrible things that frighten me about this world, I want to be reading about beautiful things and worlds with minor problems. I want to visit fairyland, camp-halfblood and Narnia, where the terrifying things happen to be facing monsters which isn't nearly as scary as some of the events taking place in reality. It gives me a chance to focus on fictional things instead of realistic things, even it just for an hour a day.

Like I said, don't think I'm ignoring these problems. I will, at times, read books that deal with real life problems (take The Fault in Our Stars, for example) and you know, it's good to read books like that as it helps us empathise with people going through those situations and if we are going through a similar situation it makes us feel as if we're not as alone. It helps us develop compassion and understanding and makes us grateful for what we have. I have panic disorder and sometimes it helps reading a book where the character also experiences that as it makes me feel as if they understand. Even though I know they're fictional, they feel real and I know that the author must have some understanding of it to write such an accurate book about the subject, which makes me feel better as I know there are actually people who have experienced this before or can imagine (accurately) how it is to have said issues.

I know that there are people out there whose houses have been bombed or they have been sexually abused or lost someone close to them and these people find books written on this topic and it helps them feel as if it will be okay as the characters in the book are eventually okay. It helps them feel as if somebody understands and I think we all need that. So although I may not read those particular books, there are people who find them incredibly helpful and nourishing as it feels like what they are experiencing isn't just happening to them. Even people who aren't experiencing these things like reading them as it gives them an insight into how and why these certain things happen. Books help us understand things and books dealing with "heavy" matters are no exception. They help us learn about these issues and how we can help ourselves and others.

It's a good thing to read books dealing with heavy subject matter and sometimes I do read a book like that, if it comes highly recommended and if it won't worry me too much (I'm a hypochondriac. If I read a book about an illness I start worrying I have that illness, quite ridiculous but unfortunately that is the way my brain works), there are definitely some exceptions and it's good to read these books to be aware of the things happening in our world and how we can try to improve the situation. However, I prefer reading books that don't contain too much heavy matter because it gets me down, although the reading experience is often enriching. I mainly like reading fantasy and contemporary books that aren't too dark for this reason.

So, that is my opinion. I think many people will probably disagree with me, but that's my feelings on the subject. What do YOU think?