For a long time I’ve evaded reading Non-Fiction books because… well, to be honest, I gagged at the idea of spending my time reading something that was not even remotely related to fiction. But when I started writing, I had to, although a bit reluctantly (read – a lot reluctantly), start reading non-fiction books on writing to understand the finer points of the craft and to hone my skills. And that was when I understood that I was not avoiding non-fiction books, but the label itself, having judged an entire genre without even knowing it.
This revelation left me pretty stunned because it was the absolute truth. I crazily judged not only non-fiction but its readers as well. I generally have a very polarising tendency, so either I hate an idea or I absolutely love it. And, as I realized a while back, in this case, I hated an entire literary genre without even understanding it completely.
As you can imagine it was an ugly realization, so, in order to make amends, I decided to start exploring this old yet new genre. Yes, I, for the first time in my life started reading non-fiction books willingly. I started late last year and since then I’ve read a couple of non-fiction books that include guide-like books which always have something to teach in elaborate details and some food books (both TLC kind and the recipe ones) and a couple self-help ones – mainly on the topic of dealing with anxious/nervous/over-active mind. I’ve also come across a couple of good business books which were actually offered to me for review for my book blog (being the wife of a businessman who hates reading books, I feel obligated to read whatever I can on his behalf and share whatever good bits I can gather from these books that might help Vishal in some or the other way.) Some other books I came across were some random books on Female Vs Male stereotypes, books on jokes, travel diaries/travelogues, various books on mental illness and some poetry, memoirs and essays. And seeing all these books made me realize how wrong it was of me to generalize and judge a genre.
Finally, I’ve come to believe and acknowledge that non-fiction is a whole world of literature in itself with a monumental amount of potential and a vast ocean of knowledge, all on its own. I am still exploring, I’m just getting started to be honest, but if you are anything like I was, then I urge you to explore this genre and to try and find the right sub-genre in non-fiction for your taste. I’m sure you’ll discover a whole lot of new books in the beautiful sea of this amazing genre.
4 responses to “Reading Non-Fiction”
I do read the occasional non fiction book – the most recent one was a true life crime story from the 1890s and before that it was the memoirs of a neurosurgeon. But I don’t find them easy to read at night which is when I tend to do most of my reading.
I love reading true crime stroies and I agree, they are a bit hard to read at night. I guess it’s because of the heavy content and the fact that the dark tales are real and not fiction.
good point Heena – I don’t really want to go to sleep with horrible images of corpses etc in my head
I too struggle to read nonfiction. But I’ve found that listening to it on audio engages me far more than a paper book. 🙂 Glad you’re getting into it – there’s somich to learn and be inspired by!