Wednesday, May 27, 2015

     What can you tell about a person by the books he or she reads? If you were to pick someone to date, would the kind of books they read influence your choice? I often hear the statement, “I only read NON- fiction.” My interpretation of this statement is that the person believes that fiction is less valuable, less intellectual, less worthy of the person’s time. This always annoys me, as I enjoy fiction, particularly as an amateur writer. Choosing a book has everything to do with personal taste and, in my humble opinion, nothing to do with the intelligence or intellect of the author or reader. It’s like different kind of intelligences (did you know there are more than eight now?) Some people like science; others like art. Just because I might like a Renoir more than a test tube doesn’t make me stupid.

     I happen to like both fiction and non-fiction. Bottom line, I like books that engage me. If they teach me something, that’s a bonus. I can learn from both fiction and non. As a writer, I can learn different styles of writing, and I can learn about history through fictional characters. I don’t have to read a history book about World War II to get the message unless I want to memorize all the military strategies and be able to spit out the dates of each assault. Most people like stories, and many can recall events better when the facts are related through those stories. After all, the vets don’t necessarily discuss what route they took to kill the enemy; they recall the toll it took on them emotionally and physically.

     If you can tell about a person by the books he or she reads, then how would you label
people who read:

  1. books about the Holocaust
  2. horror stories
  3. sci-fi tales
  4. Harlequin novels
  5. detective stories
  6. political intrigue
  7. books about aviation and/or sea disasters
  8. memoirs

     Do you have a label in your mind for people in each of these categories? If so, what does that say about you?