They are of very little importance. This is the impression most people would have about stories. But they are the most important of all.
Many parents think they are a disturbance to studies. Maybe, but are studies everything? They can help them to earn some money but how will they know how to spend it? Do they think studies will help them learn how to lead a moral life? No, they won’t. At the same time, parents can’t explain everything about life. They need help. This is where stories enter. They teach life. Moral stories or not, they teach you something. Each character teaches them something. Good and noble characters teach you how to be and the bad and cunning teach you how not to be. And there are some characters which teach you how to be both – where and to whom you are to be good and bad.
Then comes the profit of proficiency of language. They will learn new words every day. This will instill in them a habit of reading. What will be starting as an interest in new stories will turn out to be a habit of reading. I would say this will be the best way to encourage the interest of reading in children rather than forcing it on them. They will soon begin to read the best works of great people which will make their lives better.
After all this, the problem of language in which the story is told will come. Some people don’t like stories in any language other than their mother tongue. Really, language doesn’t matter. Yes, it’s true that if you read stories in another language, you can increase your vocabulary but it’s not the prime concern. What really matters is the story itself.
So, let the children read the stories for they are actually reading life, a better one.