Today I have a couple of questions: first of all, have you ever heard somebody say that they only read nonfiction, that they don’t read novels because they aren’t true? That they want to learn about the world and therefore read only nonfiction?
Then, what would you say in response?
I remember hearing somebody say this a while back, and she said it with a dismissive sniff, as though she couldn’t be bothered with fiction and doesn’t understand why anybody else could be. But the person wasn’t talking directly to me and so I didn’t give any response. But I’ve thought about her claim now and then.
I suppose if somebody isn’t in the habit of reading novels, then any argument anybody gives them isn’t going to change their mind — it seems like a habit you have or you don’t. But I have a hard time imagining being a regular reader (which I think this person was) and not reading novels. I understand reading mostly nonfiction and only a few novels now and then, but to never read a novel? And then to think that you don’t learn anything from novels? It kind of boggles my mind.
But then again, if your goal is to learn about the world, perhaps nonfiction is the way to go? Does anybody out there read novels in order to learn about the world, instead of reading them to enjoy it and learning something along the way?