You’ll see on my Goodread’s sidebar that I have several books on my “reading” shelf and they are a mix of Fact (London: A Biography) and Fiction (The Fiery Cross). Of course those two aren’t that different — one reason I enjoy historic fiction is that I’m learning about history at the same time as I’m enjoying the story about people living during that historic time. I enjoy mixing it up — and that’s one reason I joined Ann Patchett’s Parnassus bookstore’s First Edition club. (I’m in Warwick’s First Edition Club as well, but it almost always features fiction, whereas Parnassus mixes it up.
The Parnassus First Edition monthly selection a few month’s ago was In The Kingdom of Ice: The Grand And Terrible Polar Voyage. I have exactly no interest in ice or the North Pole or voyages thereto, or even the 1880s time period. So never would I have picked up that book to read. But dutifully, and trusting Ann’s judgment, I opened to page one and started reading and soon was enthralled by the courage and preparation and adventurous spirit and attitude of those brave men who went forth to find a sea passage to the North Pole and wound up in a place where Northern Siberia — 1,000 miles away — looked like heaven on earth. In fact I sometimes pick up non-fiction books more often just to try to up our average, after reading that in general after graduation adults read only two non-fiction books for the rest of their lives!!! Seriously? Two? There is so much to learn, and it’s so much fun doing it, I can’t imagine missing out on all the wonderful non-fiction that’s right at our fingertips, thoroughly researched and beautifully written words of wisdom and insight and knowledge.
But after a non-fiction I’m always ready to just have fun with or be scared by someone’s imagination by digging into a good novel. I’m glad I can move between the two without having to read just one and not the other. The answer to the Daily Prompt for me, then, is Fact AND Fiction … one right after the other, learning and imagining and enjoying them all!
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