Fiction or non-fiction? — that is the question. And the answer is easy.
I read non-fiction under sufference. I’m a member of a reading group that chooses a fair amount of non-fiction… sometimes I give the books a go, sometimes I don’t even try. Having said that, occasionally I’m surprised by a book I don’t expect to like, and there are a few non-fiction books that I would recommend to anybody:
- The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
- In Defence of Food by Michael Pollan
- Born to Run by Christopher MacDougall
I also read, from time to time, writing craft books, which I find both fascinating and helpful in small doses. I should probably read far more of these to continue honing craft. Such good intentions!
I do tend to buy a lot of non-fiction books on random topics that I think will make useful resources for research or inspiration. Topics such as mythology, crafts, history, the natural world… but these have a habit of sitting on my bookshelf unread, looking pretty. Every so often I get one out and put it on the coffee table, like a gentle nudge. After a week or so I slip it quietly back into the bookshelf.
There are some non-fiction books I aspire to read one day — such as The Surgeon of Crowthorn by Simon Winchester, or A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking.
But when it comes to reading, as in whiling away hours immersed in the written word, I will always always always choose to read fiction. I want to be carried away with story and character. I want to laugh and cry and love and hate. I want to be inspired to look at the world with new eyes.
Sometimes non-fiction is a necessary evil, but fiction is where my heart and soul lie.
This was my answer to the second of the 11 questions I was tagged for last week. And now Mike Schulenberg has tagged me again — thanks, Mike! The questions are the same, so I’ll just keep playing.
So what about you? Are there any fabulous non-fiction books I’m missing out on? Please let me know!