Why Is Literature Important?

What do you think of when you hear the word “literature?” Many people think of the classic books such as Shakespeare. According to the dictionary, literature is defined as any written work that has a lasting artistic merit. Most people have grown up reading literature in high school and college not knowing why we read it, but literature has many benefits to society. Why is literature important?


  1. Literature provides pleasure to both listeners and readers. Any time you read literature, you are escaping from your problems and diving into another world.
  2. Literature builds experience. When children read, they are learning about new places, gaining new experiences, and meeting new people. They are even learning about the past.
  3. Literature provides a language model for those who hear it and read it. Literature exposes children to correct sentence patterns, expand their vocabulary, and learn standard story structures. 
  4. Literature helps children develop thinking skills. When children take time to discuss the literature they read, they learn about cause and effect, reasoning, characters and settings, etc.
  5. Literature also supports all areas of the language arts curriculum. For instance, when children listen to literature, they are developing their listening skills while discussion helps children express their thoughts, feelings, and reactions.
  6. Reading literature helps children practice their comprehension skills in a meaningful ways. Writers can use literature as models for different genres of writing.
  7. Literature may also help children deal with their problems. When children find out how characters in books deal with problems that they may be facing, they can apply what they learn to their own problems.

There are many benefits of literature. People young and old can grow mentally and emotionally by dipping into literary text on a daily basis. As more and more children are exposed to literature, we will begin to see a change in the world for the better as the benefits or literary engagement reach further than the individual.

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