Fiction vs. Non-fiction
January 20, 2012 by Jessi
I sometimes feel like there is a constant boxing match going on when I pick out books to read.
In one corner we have Fiction. Fiction can be entertaining and funny. Fiction can relax after a long day working with the public or dealing with statistics. You can be completely swept away in the story and enter a different place, time or sometimes a whole other world. Fiction can bring steamy plots and sizziling scenes that are unfortunately far too uncommon for the single girl. And nothing quite beats a good turn of phrase that good fiction writers can conjure.
And the contender in the other corner is Non-fiction. Writing in this large group has certainly imporved as of late; (see Devil in the White City) newer Non-fiction has language flourishes and detailed scenic descriptions rivaling fiction masters. Most of all, Non-fiction has a one-two punch of allowing the reader to be entertained and to learn at the same time.
Up until now, I usually read one non-fiction and one fiction book at the same time. It was an excellent system thwarted only by sporadic, intense schoolwork (or all of grad school.) Now, however, with a full-time job. I’m not finding the time to read like I used to. Some days I’m just too exhausted too do more than watch TV. Other days, I want to read, but have to clean house and walk the dog and so many other things that only leave me with with an hour or two to read.
I feel in the current circumstances, fiction may eek out a win in the end. One of my duties at my current job is to order the adult ficiton books for my library, and people who do the ordering tend to do a better job if they read what they order. This doesn’t mean I have to read every fiction book I order (at about 37 a month that would be impossible!) nor does it mean I have to lower my reading standards to the latest [insert best-selling drivel here]. It does, however, mean that in order to be better at my job, I might just have to seriously reduce the amount of non-ficiton I read. A somewhat sad, but necessary sacrifice. (Although, who am I kidding? I get to read as part of my work performance! How cool is that?!!)
So while it may have come down to the points gathered in each round, and by no means a knock-out, Fiction will be my current champion. (At least for now. After I finish Apollo’s Angels, of course.)
Does anyone else have this delima, or are you devoted to one contender over the other?