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 don’t have a preference for either one because I love both. When I want to escape this world I choose fantasy/science fiction in the genre of Lord of the Rings, The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan, The Dragon Lance series and other wonderful series. One of my favorite things about science fiction is the very fact that these stories exist in serial form, making for enduring and lasting friendships between myself the reader and the characters. The Wheel of Time series gave me a group of young men and women who grew into their heroism and courage through much trial, loss and tribulation to at last emerge victorious over the ever present great evil plaguing their world; the boys who grew into men were Rand, Perrin and Matt and the girls who developed into such strong women were Egwene, Nynaeve and Elayne. In a series as dense and intricate as The Wheel of Time there are hundreds of vibrant secondary actors, but each was painted as vividly as the core six, my dear friends.
However my love for science fiction doesn’t make me love non-fiction any less, sometimes I find myself juggling several books at once which can make for some confused reading at times. I love Jared Diamond as an author; he penned two fantastic books; “Guns, Germs and Steel” and “Collapse” ; both of these books will strip away any bigotry or prejudice one might have of the “other”, trust me. I also adore reading historical biographies and Edmund Morris is one of my favorite biographers. His series on Theodore Roosevelt is beyond fascinating; he brings Teddy to life in all of his assets and deficits and you can tell how much Edmund Morris admires and loves Teddy and I fell in love with Teddy as well. Then there is the other Roosevelt, Franklin, his biography “Traitor to his Class” written by H.W Brands gave me a whole new appreciation for how truly great Franklin D. Roosevelt was and that is even after knowing all about what he did for us during and after the Great Depression.
These few examples of the type of non-fiction that I gravitate to and love seems to be a continuation of my political science classes, a field that called to me from a young age. History was my favorite subject of all time and by extension political science; this isn’t a love that just goes away when schooling is over.
That is why I adore books, they open up worlds and philosophies to everyone, all it takes to enter that other world is to flip a book open and read.