“When reading for fun, do you usually choose fiction or non-fiction? Do you have an idea why you prefer one over the other?”
Escape vs. Reality, is really the question. My mom put books into my hands when I was 4 years old. There is a photo of me at age two, laying on the floor with a book in my hands (um, yeah, book’s upside down…). So began my reading journey.
As a tween/teenager, during our annual two-week camping trips, I brought a box of books and read most of them. Nothing like laying in a grassy meadow surrounded by pines and 14,000 foot mountains (high country of Yosemite or Sequoia) reading to my heart’s content. I also read my share of comic books–ask me anything about Superman or Archie!
Now 50 years later, I read every night before I go to bed (since age 18 when I tackled The Hobbit). I really can’t go to sleep without at least 30 minutes of reading. I read ridiculously fast so 30 minutes gets me quite far! As an undergrad in college, after having to read textbooks all semester, there was nothing quite like driving home after my last final exam with two stops: first to the bookstore, then to Baskin-Robbins for a quart of ice cream, ready to spend the afternoon escaping the world. Celebration!!
I tended toward sci-fi and fantasy fiction genres for many years, looking for escape. A long series was even better, to stay longer in that world. Every once in a while I cracked open a non-fiction book, something for work, or something for professional development. I also enjoy historical fiction, which provides escape with a small dose of reality. A variety of books would stack up on my side table, waiting to be read.
Then I discovered KINDLE!! Not only can I find free books, I can simultaneously read anything. I have recently taken to reading while working out on the elliptical machine or stationary bike at the gym. In 30-45 minutes I can escape with a current novel then hop back into reality with a book about blogging, or doing more with less, or how to retire wild, happy and free! I read The Hunger Games interspersed with 53 Interesting Things to Do in Your Lectures. I read Lean In toggling back and forth to Murder on Molokai.
Book journeys should be varietal. Escaping from reality with occasional re-entries seems to work for for my journey! Happy reading!