Like The Daily Post’s prompt today says, there exists a “Great Divide” between non-fiction and fiction lovers. But why choose one side when you can have the best of both?
I used to be one of those people who simply couldn’t read non-fiction. What was the point if I was already living real life? A book was supposed to unleash your imagination, I thought, it was supposed to make you experience incredible journeys and fantasies that could never happen in real life.
But the same can be said about non-fiction books – they let you experience the incredible journeys and fantasies that have never happened in YOUR life! So why close one option off in favor of the other? Perhaps this is just be growing up. As a child, not only did I exclusively read fiction, I exclusively watched cartoons. That’s right, I never watched live action shows. Friends? Seinfeld? They were all stupid and boring real-life people, who cares! Now that I’m not a little jerk, I care!
So I’ve made a new rule for myself. After one book of fiction, I have to read a non-fiction book afterwards….and I’m so happy I made this rule. It’s made me pick up so many stories that I never would have before, made me learn about what it was like in Nazi camps for Jews, what it was like growing up a poor thug in Gowanus, and what it was like to leave your home in China, slash through Thai jungles and run the Mexican border to get to New York City. I’ve fallen in to enough Wikipedia holes about WWII soldiers to know that Mark Twain was 100% correct when he said,
“Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.”
It’s not unheard of for movies to change true stories when they do the screenplay version, because the truth would make audiences say, “That’s too unrealistic!”
My favorite non-fiction book so far: The Snakehead .
The next fiction book I want to read: The Magician’s Land (Book 3).