I recently stumbled upon a great nonfiction blog called What’s Nonfiction? In ‘About’ section, author of the blog writes:
“Back then, I read almost exclusively fiction (an easier section to pinpoint). But in recent years, I found the opposite was becoming true, and I preferred nonfiction, in its many very different categories, to anything fictional. But when I tell people I only like to read nonfiction, they sometimes look disgusted, nose wrinkle and all, like I have no imagination or can’t appreciate fine literary art.”
Blog in question also has a wonderful slug: Where is your nonfiction section please. My little quote here above doesn’t do the blog any justice so you should go check it out.
And maybe create nonfiction section to your blog?
Anyway,I feel like same thing is happening to me. I’ve always read nonfiction. Quarter of what I’ve read in recent years has been nonfiction but now if I have to choose between reading fiction or nonfiction, I would choose nonfiction. Same goes for reviewing it. I feel like it’s my duty now, as if I have to become an ambassador of knowledge.
Don’t get me wrong. I always have and I always will love fiction. I will always love fantasy and science fiction more than anything because I’m endlessly fascinated by what human mind can come up with. And I feel like sometimes only fiction can express what must be said. Like fairytales, we know that the dragon represents great evil, however we also know can be beaten (thank you Neil Gaiman). And of course, fiction is a must. You cannot read encyclopedias to your kids (or can you?). I don’t want to make anyone feel bad about what they read. Please do read whatever you love. I’ve written about how I hate snobbism in reading.
All reading is beautiful.
This week I read and reviewed Night by Elie Wiesel. It’s an amazing work and it changed the way I think. One of my thoughts was that you have no right not to know. If silence is a crime, then what is not knowing? Fiction is incredible and fiction on WW2 is heart-wrenching and it gives you so much (books like All the Light We Cannot See, Book Thief.. millions of stars wouldn’t be enough to rate them) But. Six million people died because of Holocaust. Most likely the number is much greater. Then all the lives lost in World War II, all the lives lost during Mao’s rule in China, all the lives lost during Stalin’s and Lenin’s rule in Russia. What is still happening in North Korea? All the lives lost when we colonized the world, all the lives lost during the crusades. All the things we have done. All the wrongs. If not us, who will remember those events? Who will preach about them? Who will not let them happen again?
Is it not our responsibility to carry that burden? Is it not our responsibility not let it come down to WW3? And to push humans forward? Achieve greatness through scientific discoveries? To become better individuals?
Nonfiction is about the truth and very often about someone trying to uncover it. Truth is the most beautiful and most cruel thing in this world. In nonfiction, heroes often don’t win and are often unknown. If fiction puts you in shoes of an another person, nonfiction will make you walk in those shoes whether you want it or not.
So please read both. Would be happy to give you some recommendations.
Moreover, I will try to blog more about nonfiction.
How-To Read More Nonfiction
1. Audible and audiobooks in general are super worth it. You can listen to nonfiction while you do chores. I feel like it’s also sometimes easier to concentrate when someone talks.
2. Start with a topic you like. You like historical fiction –> historical nonfiction, science fiction –> try books by Michio Kaku, thrillers –> try true crime, fantasy –> books on writing and on world building, or if you have hobbies like cooking or sports or travel, read memoirs. Or start with author you like. If you like Murakami, try his nonfiction books. Same goes for some other authors.
3. Keep trying. Try different nonfiction genres. Try different places. Try different ways to read.
And I’m curious. What are your thoughts on this? Have your interest switched? Have you preferred fiction and moved to preferring reading nonfiction? Or maybe from one genre to another one? Do you prefer specific genres? Why? Any tips on how to read more nonfiction?