This month’s discussion for the BAND, Bloggers Alliance of Nonfiction Devotees, is hosted by Amy Reads, BAND August 2011 Discussion – How Did You Get Into NonFiction? Hop over there to join the BAND by answering her question and linking it up at that post. Don’t forget to read other bloggers’ answers while you are there.
Here’s our August question:
How did you get into reading nonfiction? Do you remember your first nonfiction book or subject? If so, do you still read those subjects?
As I’ve been thinking about this question, I realized that I’ve read a lot more nonfiction in my life than I give myself credit for. The thing is, when I’m reading nonfiction, I don’t call it “reading.” Instead, I call it:
- trip planning
- finding recipes
- gathering ideas for organization of time and space
- learning about writing or buying a house or how to grow a vegetable garden
- figuring out what the heck I’m doing with my life
Reading fiction is something I do for pleasure. Reading nonfiction is something I do to solve a problem, which is usually pleasant, too, but I approach it differently. My mental history is that I read only fiction before college, that I read nothing at all during college, and that I read only fiction after college until a few years ago when I discovered creative nonfiction. But that’s because I’m discounting the fact that I couldn’t get enough about the history of baseball in eighth grade, that my dad introduced me to What Color is Your Parachute? in college which opened up the world of self help, and that I started reading travel literature right after graduating because I couldn’t imagine what else working adults would do with their money.
The history interest is going into the Civil War at the moment, although I have enjoyed the occasional mention of baseball. I still like books that hover on the line between psychology and business, most recently Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler. I have a stack of books right now for a trip to Vicksburg, Mississippi and a list of books about Ireland (soliciting more – any fiction, nonfiction, history, travel, or sociology books one should read before traveling to Ireland?).
So, what’s your story (nonfiction, of course) about nonfiction?