Fiction Novels – Why are They So Popular


Fiction books have always been a way for people to escape their everyday routine, step into imaginary worlds, and meet extraordinary characters. Unlike journalism and narrative nonfiction stories, fantasy themes are only limited by the author’s imagination. The storyline can not be, and there is no need to be proved with real facts. Fictional stories can be different in length as well, but it is also true that the biggest bestsellers come in the form of novels. In the next several paragraphs, we’ll explain why and will provide more facts about fiction as a literary genre.

Fiction – The Imaginary Writing

Fiction and nonfiction are two of the main styles of writing, although the line between them can often blur. The reason is that fictional stories can be completely made-up but also based on situations from real life. Still, imagination is leading in this type of literature, and authors often draw the surrounding world as a possible alternative. Still, if readers are not familiar with the true facts behind the real story, they could believe the script, which is not the writer’s idea and reason behind the chosen technique. In light of that, it might be useful for you to check what category book you have picked.

Since the human imagination knows no boundaries, fiction books can cover all known genres as well as create entirely new ones. Below, you can see some of the most popular ones, together with some recommendations for sub-genres:

  • Romance – Paranormal, Historical, Regency, Gothic, Romantic Suspense
  • Science Fiction – Utopian, Cyberpunk, Space, Alternate History, Military
  • Action-Adventure – Warfare, Martial Arts, Espionage, Action-Comedy
  • Fantasy – Dark, Heroic, Magic Realism, Speculative Poetry, Omegaverse
  • Speculative Fiction – Utopian / Dystopian, Superhero, Post-Apocalyptic
  • Thriller(Suspense) – Supernatural, Political, Espionage, Legal, Psychological
  • Mystery & Crime – Private Investigator, Legal, Cozy Mystery, Police Procedural.

As you can see, the variety of categories and subcategories is truly enormous, so every reader will find something captivating. However, besides the theme, fictional books differ in their length too. Some people prefer short stories, while others, 1,000+ page novels, like Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings.”

Why Novels?

Novels are known as the lengthiest fiction literature works written as prose, regardless of the genre. In order for a book to be classified as a novel, it must contain at least 100 pages and quite often at least 40,000 words. There are other shorter types of stories as pieces may vary from around 700 to 2,000 or 2,500 words. Novelettes and novellas are the most common ones. However, readers seem more attracted to the longer novel’s class when it comes to imaginary fiction.

To understand this attraction of ours, we have to look at the reasons to read fiction books in the first place. Literary hubs, including the research centers of large-scale media like NBC News, determine several reasons for readers to turn to books based on fictional stories. We do that to be entertained, to escape or find companionship, and to gain perspective at things. Even in the most unbelievable mystical stories, we can find wisdom and see our lives from a different angle.

Novels, in particular, suggest a quite long scenario with plenty of twists, plots, and various storylines developing individually and meeting at a certain point. Maybe short narratives are more suitable for children’s audiences, another major sub-genre that we did not mention earlier. Some studies show that they took around 50% of all fiction books published worldwide. However, in the next paragraph, we focus on the best-known fiction novels, specially picked from our team for you!

Top Fiction Novels

It is difficult to answer unequivocally the question of which are the best novels, as this depends almost entirely on the genre preferences of readers. We did research based on worldwide sales, as well as the most frequently mentioned titles in online publications. These are our top ten fiction novels:

  • In Search of Lost Time (Marcel Proust)
  • Don Quixote (Miguel de Cervantes)
  • Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll)
  • Wolf Hall (Hilary Mantel)
  • Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
  • The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald)
  • The Lord of the Rings (J. R. R. Tolkien)
  • A Game of Thrones (George R.R. Martin)
  • Frankenstein (Mary Shelley).

As you can see, the old classics will never die, although many readers prefer the modern point of view and novels published in the 21st century. The Guardian and other media often create rankings focused on the last couple of decades, and you’ll be surprised by the actual volume of newly released fiction novels. We have included one of them in our dedicated list above and urge you to read it! Wolf Hall is a fascinating historical fiction book by Hilary Mantel.

Final Thoughts

The fact that fiction novels are among the most preferred literature genres is not a surprise. These books help people to widen their horizons and escape from reality for a few hours. The magnificent, although impossible, worlds drawn by masters like Tolkien or Dostoyevsky show us the beauty and infinity of the human imagination. And if fantasy is too much for you, there are plenty of options out there like ancient mysteries, crime cases, thrillers, action adventures, and romantic novels. Despite the fact that creative nonfiction is the prevailing style of writing in the 21st century, fictional stories will remain on top of almost all readers’ rankings around the world.