Just in case it’s not already super obvious, I want to share something with you all: I am an avid reader of fiction. (I know: mind = blown, right?) I practically breathe novels. What I am not such an avid reader of is non-fiction. It’s not exactly a choice – in fact, I often tell myself I ought to read non-fiction, and on the rare occasions I do, I usually enjoy it. But I just can’t escape the seduction of a novel – of getting sucked in to a story about fictional characters, and stepping into what is ultimately someone else’s creation from start to finish.
Now, that’s not to say I never read non-fiction – I just rarely read it in book form. I am a pretty bit reader of blogs, articles, essays, etc. online. I follow a wide variety of blogs, professional and personal. I am addicted to essay-style writing in news outlets. Reading reviews after I finish a book is part of how I process my latest novel. And yet, trying to convince myself to pick up a non-fiction book is like pulling teeth.
Until now. I may have finally learned the necessary steps to bringing non-fiction into my reading sphere a little more.
Step 1: Choose a non-fiction book I’m practically guaranteed to love. In this case, Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay. Among other things, this book is an essay collection, so it kind of feels like reading a whole lot of blog entries and essays by a favorite online author, which I love to do!
Step 2: Make sure the book is not in at the library. If it is in and I try to go pick it up, I will end up picking up a novel instead. Happens every time.
Step 3: Put this non-fiction book on hold at the library. This means it’s going to come and I’m going to get it without having a chance to be sidetracked by fiction.
Step 4: Feel obligated to read the book before I have to return it for the next person on the hold list.
Step 5: Enjoy!
I’m really loving Bad Feminist, and as I’m always saying, it’s good to occasionally step outside of our reading comfort zones and get into something a little different. So if you’ve been trying to diversify your reading but having trouble, I can totally sympathize, and I strongly suggest the putting an item on hold method. I’ll be back to novels once I finish these essays, but next time I think “gosh, I should really read some non-fiction, it’s been a while,” I now know how to do it!