Contrary to popular opinion, graphic novels are not a genre. The word ‘graphic’ means relating to art, so graphic novels are a subset of novels in which visuals accompany words. Comics and graphic novels have long been thought of as ‘light’ reading which isn’t ‘real’ and as kind of ‘useless’. But that is not true, there are many benefits of graphic novels and in this article we tell you importance of reading graphic novels.
Importance of Reading Graphic Novels | Benefits of Graphic Novels:
- Provides additional sensory stimulation
- Improves critical thinking skills
- Invokes more empathy and compassion while reading
- Inculcate just as many literacy and narrative skills as traditional books
- Are easier to breeze through and hence make reading enjoyable
- Contain untapped educational potential
- Teach you to appreciate varied forms of art
- Provide variety to the reading diet
- Develop multitasking abilities
Provides additional sensory stimulation
Graphic novels supplement words with pictures, and hence stimulate various senses at once. The visual stimulation, which arises from aesthetic pictures that give off specific vibes, can engage the mind more than just words. This in turn helps you stay with the story, make sense of it and grasp it more fully. Visuals aid comprehension of just words.
Improves critical thinking skills
Graphic novels provide an opportunity at low pressure reading (compared to, say classics). This makes them more efficient in mobilizing reluctant readers and people with learning disabilities like dyslexia to participate in the reading process. Since reading of all forms improves critical thinking skills, a more inclusive environment is all the better.
Invokes more empathy and compassion while reading
It’s easier to empathize with characters you can visualize. Of course, in traditional literary texts, this job falls upon the reader. But with graphic novels, you have ready source material for imagination. Accompanying pictures of the character just make the character all the more real and tangible for the reader, enhancing his/her attachment with it.
Inculcate just as many literacy and narrative skills as traditional books
At their heart, graphic novels are stories. They use different techniques from novels to tell these stories, but they still employ narrative structures and devices. This lends them all qualities of other narrative structures – enhancing critical appreciation, building imagination, providing an escape and encouraging compassion.
Are easier to breeze through and hence make reading enjoyable
Perhaps the biggest advantage of graphic novels is that they are super accessible. Like I said previously, everyone from those who’ve never read before or suffer from linguistic or learning disorders to the most seasoned readers can enjoy them. They pose minimal pressure on people and hence are easier to breeze through and more enjoyable.
Contain untapped educational potential
Everyone studies classics in school and college. But graphic novels are often ignored as sources of knowledge. But in today’s times, one increasingly sees that graphic novels touch on important topics. Race, identity, coming-of-age, relationships, religion, etc. are some of the themes many graphic novels explore. Thus they have untapped informative potential.
Teach you to appreciate varied forms of art
While traditional books teach you to engage with literary works and words, graphic novels teach you to do that and engage with visuals. They allow you to develop a keen sense and understanding of visual arts, especially painting. This in turn will help you learn more about, critically appreciate and engage with the visual arts in question, making your life richer.
Provide variety to the reading diet
No one can read the same books or genres and feel satisfied. A spice in the reading diet is required for time to time – and this is where graphic novels come in handy. They help you diversify your reading materials. So if you’re a serious reader of classics and literary fiction, graphic novels ca act as enjoyable escapes.
Develop multitasking abilities
Finally, graphic novels develop multitasking abilities. Because readers have to focus on multiple things – the text, pictures, dialogue, expression, etc. – at the same time, they develop focus. This simultaneous grasping of multiple media formats aids in the improvement of concentration.