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Old 01-07-2010, 11:16 PM   #1
tech_au
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Feeling guilty about not reading non-fiction ?

I was feeling a little guilty about not reading enough non-fiction during 2009 so I purchased a variety of non-fiction ebooks over the Xmas/New Year period.
Travel, Science, Technology, Humour and Mind,Body and Health to sprinkle through my regular fiction ebooks.
Anyone else got the guilty feeling ?
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Old 01-07-2010, 11:28 PM   #2
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I might have been partly motivated by guilt, but in 2009 I decided I wanted to read more non-fiction, as I've read almost nothing but fiction for several years. About 1/3 of the books I read in 2009 were non-fiction (37 of 116), and 3 of the 4 books I've read so far this year are non-fiction, including biography/autobiography, history, science, etc. I decided I might as well try to learn something once in a while!

I've found that a well-written work of non-fiction can be as enjoyable to read as a work of fiction. I've purchased a fair number of non-fiction titles over the past year, so I still have a rather lengthy queue of non-fiction books in my to be read queue.

Now that I've read more non-fiction, and found that it can be an enjoyable experience, I hope to read at least as much non-fiction as last year, and perhaps more.

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Old 01-08-2010, 12:08 AM   #3
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Funny.. Up until my Kindle, I mostly read non-fiction in pbooks. Now nearly 3/4 of the books on my Kindle are fiction.

But, I still love a good non-fiction book, especially history. Current favorite is The Island at the Center of the World by Russell Shorto.
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Old 01-10-2010, 07:42 AM   #4
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Depends on what kind of non-fiction. If it's books and articles to help yourself improve professionally, then yes, I don't as many/much as I think I ought to.

But if it's non-fiction read for pleasure, there's no guilt at all of course I've always read non-fiction as well as fiction, because there's so many wonderfully interesting things to learn about. I think a good deal of my non-fiction reading has moved to Internet texts though.
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Old 01-10-2010, 08:16 AM   #5
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I kinda like it when fiction and non-fiction meet (faction?). You can learn so much from well crafted fiction without it feeling like a lesson. History to Sci Fi, there are fascinating facts to learn. Neil
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Old 01-10-2010, 08:55 AM   #6
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Every once in a while I do. Then I truck over to the library and pick something up.
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:15 AM   #7
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If you're into historical fiction, Lilac, might I recommend the late James A Michener (US) and Edward Rutherford (UK). Both terrific researchers who know just how much information might be too much. Their work is hefty -- really short stories tied together by historical fact. Magnificent stuff.
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:31 AM   #8
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Funny you should start this thread, since I recently realized I read only fiction. And yes, I also realized I should change that since it gives me this "don't know what's going on" feeling.
Then again I'm not really interested in what this guy or that thinks of current events, I don't trust the "here's the true story" uncoverings and I tend to run away screaming from philisophical topics.

Or maybe I should just give it a try?
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:36 AM   #9
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When I read non-fiction it tends to be science.

I read for pleasure and for knowledge (the pleasure of knowledge being one of those pleasures ) and feel no guilt in what I read or don't read. The concept of guilt for not reading non-fiction (or classics, or "literature") is one I have some trouble grasping (though please only take this as a lacking in understanding by myself, and not at all as a criticism.

I guess to get close to understandng, at the moment I feel guilt for not reading...at all. I'm not sure why, but I guess there is a sense of letting self-enlightenment and an enjoyed pasttime go to waste. Then, I'm retired, and there are many pleasures I let go that even surpass that of reading. I guess the guilt I feel is laziness and wastefulness (and failure and self-disappointment and...well, let's leave that for the therapist to determine )

Cheers,
Marc
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Old 01-10-2010, 06:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgaiser View Post
Funny.. Up until my Kindle, I mostly read non-fiction in pbooks. Now nearly 3/4 of the books on my Kindle are fiction. ...
I'm pretty much the same way. Prior to owning a Kindle, practically all my reading was non-fiction. Now about half of the books I read are fiction, and much of that fiction has been written by authors who post here at MobileRead.

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When I read non-fiction it tends to be science. ...
Science, religion, history, politics and philosophy are my main interests. Not necessarily in that order.

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Originally Posted by montsnmags View Post
I read for pleasure and for knowledge (the pleasure of knowledge being one of those pleasures ) and feel no guilt in what I read or don't read. The concept of guilt for not reading non-fiction (or classics, or "literature") is one I have some trouble grasping (though please only take this as a lacking in understanding by myself, and not at all as a criticism.
I do sometimes feel guilty over not having read one book or another. There's no reason for it, as no one can possibly read every good book ever written. As Patricia's tagline says, "Of making many books there is no end [Ecclesiastes, 12.12]." Still, sometimes I do.
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Old 01-10-2010, 06:13 PM   #11
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I think that about 75% of what I read is non-fiction - I just find it more interesting. Just finished a (pbook) about the scientists and philosophers of the late 18th/early 19th Century - very good.

I like the feeling that I've learnt something by reading a book.
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Old 01-10-2010, 06:18 PM   #12
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I think that about 75% of what I read is non-fiction - I just find it more interesting. Just finished a (pbook) about the scientists and philosophers of the late 18th/early 19th Century - very good.

I like the feeling that I've learnt something by reading a book.
What book was that?
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Old 01-11-2010, 07:46 AM   #13
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I tend to stick to scholarly journals for more-or-less nonfiction stuff. In general, I try to avoid non-fiction books, as there are too many I've had the misfortune of encountering that claimed to be legitimate history or science or whatever field it was seemingly relevant to, while offering pretty much nothing factual or even somewhat supported by scholars.

Most recent example I recall bumping into was Gavin Menzies's work about Chinese exploration. Ugh. I can't believe they managed to land that kind of crap on TV as well.
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Old 01-11-2010, 07:55 AM   #14
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Actually, yes, I have been feeling guilty - not too guilty, as I needed a little more fiction in my life, but guilty nonetheless! Since I've had my reader I been reading a lot more fiction and a lot less non-fiction. The non-fiction books that I read are generally concerned with linguistics, but I also like to read biographies, books about mythology, books about various religions that I would like to learn more about, books about food (not limited only to recipes) and ancient history. I just picked up a book called "A History of Celibacy" from the library which looks interesting (my husband rolled his eyes when he saw me pick that one up!).
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Old 01-11-2010, 08:28 AM   #15
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What book was that?
It's called 'The Age of Wonder' by Richard Holmes.

Amazon link to it here.
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