Fact or Fiction?


Last week I think this was one of those daily prompts on here because I saw a number of posts about this particular question that got me thinking. Do I prefer reading fiction over non-fiction or is it the other way around?

Some of the posts I read through took hundreds of words to tell the reader why they liked one or the other or both. I won’t be doing that because it is a very easy question for me to answer. I prefer fiction. And I always will. Why? Because there’s a certain mystery to all fictional stories. A good book will always have you wondering what happens next, right? That quality is absent once you get to reading non-fiction. I own a handful of non-fiction books, literally five, and I know the basic story before I ever start reading. Anne Frank. BTK. Lone Survivor. These are all great books. They’re well written and informative, but reading them just isn’t the same as reading a fictional story. At least not for me.

So tell me, fact or fiction?

9 thoughts on “Fact or Fiction?

  1. Thank you, John, for your thoughts on this subject. Myself, I read both fiction and non-fiction. I, like you, read fiction for entertainment, however, I also read non-fiction when I want to learn something that helps me do my job, repair something or possibly when I want to try out a new recipe. I think everyone does this as non-fiction not only covers entertainment but also covers the enormous HOW-TO area.
    Fiction reading is actually very small compared to non-fiction. For instance, most text books used by all schools in the world are non-fiction. Non-fiction actually outsells fiction by a vast degree. Some, like you, might feel non-fiction is boring. It’s also not my preferred entertainment read but is seems that many apparently don’t share our view.


  2. Cool subject. I used to only read fiction but since I’ve gotten older I have included reading non-fiction. I think I still do prefer fiction mostly for entertainment.


  3. The book I pick up will depend on what I need and what, if any, goal do I have in mind. I always pick up fiction when I want to relax and be engrossed in a good story with interesting characters. I will pick up non-fiction when I need or want to increase my knowledge on a subject or person. I have read and own many non-fiction books, all of which I have enjoyed, some of which I have read more than once. Currently, “On Writing” by Stephen King is on my nightstand – excellent non-fiction. Also on my nightstand is, “The Confessions of Nat Turner” by William Stryon a very interesting character, a real person, fictionalized. Both are “in progress” and I think it is good to read a variety of types and genre’s – all have their place.


  4. I would say fact. With nonfiction, it seems like the end is always known. By the time the book is written you typically already have some idea of what it’s about. Not saying nonfiction can’t be good, but fiction just seems to provide more intrigue, I guess. It gives a reason to want to keep reading and find out what happens next.


  5. I am about half and half. As an English teacher I obviously love fiction, but I also enjoy reading various nonfiction texts such as blogs and news articles, and I particularly enjoy reading about how to do new things. Currently, I’m reading a book about writing fiction, which is nonfiction, I suppose, but written with the purpose of helping others write fiction.

    All in all, I just like reading.

    Oh, but I’m not a fan of biographies or historical non-fiction, unless I’m trying to fall asleep. Historical fiction is delicious, though!


  6. My requirement for both: Don’t put me to sleep.

    I generally choose fiction over nonfiction. However, there are dandy nonfiction works out there that read almost like novels, or are as literary in their construction and language as any novel, and I enjoy a well-written, engaging history or biography.

    On the other hand, my foray as a freelancer for a local newspaper was short-lived, because my writing style wasn’t journalistic enough.


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