I don’t usually use writing prompts for blogging, but this one’s about reading, so why not?
When reading for fun, do you usually choose fiction or non-fiction? Do you have an idea why you prefer one over the other?
I think there is a higher proportion of fiction than non-fiction in my reading, but I do read a fair bit of non-fiction for enjoyment. In non-fiction, I like histories, memoirs (especially travel-related ones), and autobiographies best, but I will occasionally throw in some science, or social science, for a change of pace. I really enjoyed Guns, Germs, and Steel, for instance, to the utter astonishment of the friend who lent it to me.
But I do read more fiction, overall. Perhaps because I write more fiction than non-fiction, and I like to keep up with what’s going on out there in Booklandia. I sample pretty widely from the dizzying variety of available fiction, too. That’s a habit that started in childhood, when my brother and I were the first and second children (respectively) in our local library system to be allowed to check out the maximum adult allocation of ten books every two weeks, before the age of twelve. (He was eight, I was seven.) When we had read all our own books, we read each other’s books, and thus did the fortnights pass!
My whole family is what one might call “great readers”. When I was growing up, it was not at all uncommon for the four of us (Mom, Dad, Bro, me) to spend the evening together in the living room, each with our nose in a book. My brother and I each had a bookshelf in our bedrooms, and like the bookshelves in the living room, they groaned under the weight of our reading material, borrowed and owned. Years passed, and the bookshelves grew to accommodate further acquisitions. I discovered science fiction and fantasy on my brother’s shelves, and historicals, thrillers, and post-apocalyptic dystopias on my parents’.
My tastes are wide and varied to this day, and there’s not much I won’t give a chance to, at least once.
And if there are no books around, I’ll read whatever is to hand: magazines, newspapers, catalogues, the ingredient label on the cereal box. That counts as scientific non-fiction, right?