Reading Nonfiction: Thoughts On Breaking Away From Novels

I love reading fiction, especially when you get into a book that you can’t put down or one that makes you rush through the day just so you can have quiet time to rejoin the story as soon as you possibly can.  There are so many great types of fiction out there with countless stories to be told and there is no lack of great fiction.

There is also a mountain of nonfiction books that offer endless journeys from experiences of others, self-reflection, trials and tribulations, or ways to look at the human condition.  I love when fiction causes us to think deeply about ourselves or the world around us, or when we can gain empathy about a person or people we might never otherwise know, but nonfiction can do that too.

While I’d never turn from novels, nonfiction is a door to an entirely new world.  Books like Outliers looks at how incredible people, or above average folks, may just be the product of chance or being in a great place at a great time.  Also, books like Just Mercy show us the struggles of a man seeking to defend outcast or forgotten people in the legal system, and for me, challenges us to be more compassionate.  There are books like Devil in the White City that read a lot like fiction but are great historical tales that show us how great events, like the World’s Fair, were put together, all while tracking a monster of a man that was on a murderous path while these events were taking place.

I never would have thought I’d read much, if any, nonfiction because I always thought that reality was what I wanted to escape so fiction was the answer.  But another person’s reality or learning something about who we are or learning about an incredible event from days past are but a few things that can not only teach us but allow us to move into another world and see things in a whole new light.  

I love fiction but don’t hesitate to seek out enriching nonfiction.  You might find that someone’s tale or research is just as entertaining as a novel and it can also teach us so very much.