Why Read Mystery?

Who can resist a well-written mystery book? NO ONE!

And NOOOOPE! One might think that mystery and thriller novels are the same, but they’re not. In a thriller, the culprit is often revealed or known to the reader or sometimes the main characters themselves! Meanwhile, mystery mainly focuses on solving what’s unknown to both the reader AND the main character. Now that we’ve settled this, let’s proceed…

There are many benefits that people get from reading: it widens vocabulary, exercises imagination, and gives a person depth. But what do readers get from specifically reading mystery?

MENTAL WORKOUT

Just as our bodies need exercise, so do our minds! The puzzles of the mystery in the  novels are like obstacle courses that stimulate our brains into critical thinking, and in turn enhances problem solving (and that’s another advantage of reading mystery novels)! Amazing, right?

IT BREAKS THE SUPERHERO STEREOTYPE

Superheroes are characters with superhuman powers. They have superhuman strength and speed, or other supernatural powers. What about the smartest? They’re the bullied, the sidekicks, and nobodies until they acquire super powers. Has anyone ever created a superhero whose main super power is their superhuman intellect? Nope? Well, anyways, in mystery, smart is cool and they’re the ones who win!

In our generation where being smart often earns you comments like, “Eh di wow!” “Ikaw na magaling.” “Nosebleed!” “Bida-bida.” “Dami mong alam.” etc., it’s awesome to have mystery novels celebrate intelligence and critical thinking.

IMPROVES READING COMPREHENSION

There are many little details in a mystery novel that could be a vital clue in uncovering the unknown. Because of that, it makes the readers pay close attention to what they’re reading which will of course deepen their understanding of the texts.

The 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) result showed that the Philippines ranked lowest in reading comprehension. Maybe it could be beneficial if schools would encourage students to read mystery novels.

IT HELPS US EXAMINE MOTIVES

Knowing why the suspect or culprit did what he or she did is one of the keys in appreciating a good mystery novel. Figuring out the “why” as readers read along keeps the pages turning. And being able to see and examine the cause and effect of a story or of a character’s choices and decisions can help widen the readers’ perspective and understanding of humanity.

What about you? How has reading mystery novels impacted the way you think and view people and the world?

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