Non-fiction is the dark sheep of my reading expeditions. Biographies, autobiographies, memoirs, self-help books etc. are never picked up by me from the shelves, apart from gifting purposes.
Not that I never tried reading them, or haven’t ever read them. But beyond a few pages, I start yawning and can’t seem to focus. My heart and soul wanders away and I long to pick up a work of fiction as soon as possible.
Such is my condition.
Till date, the only non-fiction works that I read (and remember) are :
You Can Win by Shiv Khera
Who Moved My Cheese
The Diary Of Anne Frank (Read it numerous time)
Timepass by Protima Bedi
Letters from a father to a daughter
Ogilvy on Advertising
And I guess that’s all.
I am still figuring out the WHY of non-fiction aversion. And I have concluded that it is because of the fact –
If I can learn it from a story, why read someone else’s account?
Self-help never motivates me and I find it to be a bit “preachy”. I don’t like being “preached”.
I feel lost. Every single time I pick up a non-fiction work. Sometimes, I feel I am losing my identity and questioning everything when I read excerpts. Whereas, I am overall a very optimistic person who never compares and contrasts her life with others. So, no.
I can’t visualise anything when I read a work of non-fiction! I can’t imagine a scenario where person X and person Y meet at an office and then person Y becomes the bigshot and blah. No. Not happening. Give me names! Give me imaginary setups please.
Having said that, I believe that I have learnt more from Harry Potter or The Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants than from a Men are from Mars. I learn more from Jodi Picoult and Jhumpa Lahiri than the who’s who of non-fiction world.
I know I am biased, but this is how I function. Hopefully, I do aim to read more non-fiction in the coming days (one book is already shortlisted), but I am not promising that I won’t wander off! 😉
What about your equation with non-fiction works? Suggestions are most welcome.
A classmate of mine was a non-reader. For a long, long time, he had aversion to the world of words. One day, he discovered the joy of reading and there was no looking back for him. He was in his mid-twenties when he started.
A. It is never too late to begin reading.
B. With the right books, anyone can become a reader.
So, how do you make the transition? How do you go to the other side of the fence and have all the green grass? Maybe, these points will help you.
Physical book vs Ebook. And the debate rages on. I would suggest you to opt for the former. But if you are more comfortable reading on a screen, invest in an Ebook reader such as Kindle, for distraction-free reading. But if your will-power is strong, then you can always read on a tab or any other device.
Become a member of a local library. This way, you can get access to each and every genre of book without spending all your life’s savings!
Or read online. Archive.org, Project Gutenberg and a number of other websites allow you to read books or sample chapters online for free. Go for them!
Choose a reading nook. Where no one can come between you and your book. Just saying! 😀 Any place where you can comfortably sit and read at a stretch will do.
Dedicate a time of the day for reading. Go for a digital detox and indulge in reading. Even if it is for fifteen to twenty minutes, dedicate yourself for reading completely. Over the time, you can always increase the duration.
Choose a book by its cover. If dull and drab book covers don’t make you feel interested in reading, switch to books with a lovely cover design. Or maybe, you can switch to a different edition of the same book with a different cover design. Hey! Cover designers get paid for this! 😉
Read books based on movies. This will get you interested, somewhat. Goodreads has a list and so does Listchallenges. Take your pick.
Read fanfics. Reading fanfics is a fan-tastic exercise. It gives you a fresh perspective and answers a number of ‘what-ifs’ you always had in mind. Best part is, you can read them online for free!
Read books that have lesser number of pages. When you complete a book, you get a sense of achievement. So, why not begin with books that can be completed easily? Here are some lists:
Dog ears look good on dogs and not books. It completely turns me off when someone dog ears books. It makes me breathe like a dragon when the books are mine. Why is it so hard to grab a bookmark or make one or buy some or think of something innovative and place it on the last read page?
Is it rocket science? No!
Print some. There are loads of free templates online, which I discussed with a fellow booklover. Take some neat prints on thick paper of your choice and what do you have there? Plenty of awesome looking bookmarks.
Grab a tag from your new clothes. They make so many pretty tags…branded or not, you can always use them as makeshift bookmarks!
Safety pin. Yes, a safety pin is thin, small, and can easily make a bookmark if you can’t find any lying around. Just make sure that the head of the pin is visible.
Tissue paper/paper napkin – clean one of course. Fold it in a thin rectangle and you are done for the time being.
Paper clips – these are by far the best bookmarks but you should never leave them for a long period of time else they rust or spoil pages.
Use a ribbon. If you are a guy, borrow some 😉
Just tear out a news paper or a carton and use it temporarily.
Old visiting cards also make great bookmarks.
Sticky notes can also serve as bookmarks, some of us just don’t think of them in that way.
Last one, use really thin twigs as bookmarks – they should be completely dry. Great if you have taken your book outdoors and forgotten your bookmarks.