The Great Divide – The Daily Prompt for Monday, September 29, 2014

When reading for fun, do you usually choose fiction or non-fiction? Do you have an idea why you prefer one over the other?

There is no great divide. You must have made that up. Or maybe you don’t read much because if you did, you would know that literature is a continuity, a world without walls.

All my friends read. Friends and acquaintances, we read everything. Anything. Non-fiction and fiction, fantasy, mystery, and science fiction. The back of cereal boxes and magazines. Newspapers. Science and biography. Auto-biography and historical fiction.

I’m not sure there’s a whole lot of difference between historical fiction and regular old history anyhow. There’s a lot of fiction, made-up nonsense, wishful thinking and mythology in traditional history … and a lot of truth in fiction. Sometimes, the freedom an author gets under the cloak of fiction gives him or her the opportunity to write truer and reach more people than he or she could accomplish in an academic setting.

books and the duke

Those who love books don’t worry much about such distinctions. We pick books based on whether or not they will engage us. Teach us something we want to know. Make us laugh, cry, grow, change.

Most importantly, books take us out of ourselves. They transport us into a bigger world and give us food for thought and tools for understanding.

May a day never come when I confine my reading to a single genre, rejecting all others.

May the world never force such an awful choice upon me or anyone.

Categories: Books, Literature

Tags: , , , , , ,

31 replies

  1. I am a reading addict. I mean, I really think I get withdrawals. I do tend to read non-fiction more of the time, but that’s partly because they take longer to read that it just works out that way.


    • I’m also an addicted reader. I’m always reading something, sometimes more than one thing … like a daytime book and a bedtime book. I read a lot of short fiction … but when I get into non-fiction, it’s usually a long book — a project. I like long books too 🙂


  2. Reading has, in my mind, apparently saved my life and soul a few times over the years. Yer original post, Mrs. A…. was most spot on. Thanks for being “you.” 😉


  3. Reading is what in the first place makes you observe , know, appreciate. You see what you know otherwise you are blind!!!! So I actually read even instructions on a ready to cook meal box and love it! Though I am blogging about fashion and lifestyle I am drawn to intense blogs like yours. Would really really like you to visit my blog:
    Waiting eagerly for your reaction.


  4. I smiled when I read that you read the back of cereal boxes. Recently I was away without a book. Actually I had a book but I finished it sooner than expected so I was at this hotel for the night without anything to read. And I never fall asleep without reading. So I ended up reading the hotel guide that they leave in the room for their customers. I agree with you that having to choose between genres would be impossible Go books!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve been at the computer way too long this morning, (researching the deadly algae that is forming on our drying up waterways, unfortunately) otherwise I’m sure I would be able to say something more intelligent than I can think of right now. Yeah, right. So I’ll just say that I like like like your take on this. Like. So true. Like. That’s why I take the time to read your posts. Be it the contents of your refrigerator or the contents of your bookshelf, you always have such an interesting perspective! Thank you.


    • Thank you. Thank you very very much!! I don’t like the sound of “deadly algae.” You’ll have to let me know how that is going. All this dryness in regions that are not typically dry is bound to create some ecological havoc.


  6. How can people limit themselves to reading one type of writing?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I believe the high purpose of Art is to raise or move our consciousness in a Spiritual way.
    If it does this, then It doesn’t matter whether we label it as fact or fiction.
    I will read it.
    Most anything else, I am unable to read.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t read as much as I used to, probably because I write more than I used to. But for me, it has to take me someplace I want to go … whether it be in imagination or back in time or to a place that could never be. The test is always whether I can remember it for more than a few minutes after I finish the story.


    • Pilgrim, you write like a poet. I like a man like you.


  8. Well said. I was going to come up with a one-word response to the question “Do you usually choose fiction or non-fiction?” My one-word answer: YES


    • It reminds me of the airline story – Server: Coffee, tea, or milk?
      Passenger: Yes.

      I lot of well-written history reads like fiction … and badly written history is as dull as any academic tome could be. I just read. Whatever it is. I either like it, or not. If I don’t, I stop reading it and read something else. To paraphase Dunkin Donuts, “Life is too short to read bad books!”

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I must say it is according to my mood. If there is a non-fiction book handling a subject of interest then I will read it. I can relax with non-fiction in a different way to a fiction book. Non-fiction is awakes my interest. I am not looking to see how it all ends, it is a continuity of interesting facts (at least I hope so). Fiction gets me involved with the characters, the events (if it is a good book) and they can become so-called page turners. I can get lost in another world. But for me they are two types of book. I enjoy both, but at the right time and I cannot mix them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Some of the history I’ve read is more engaging than equivalent fiction. For me, it is always about the subject matter … and my mood of the moment. Sometimes, I need a fantasy fix. Other days? Some real history!

      Liked by 1 person

      • These days history seems more entertaining than fiction. I’m more of a TV guy now but history still rates above fiction. Exhibit A: The latest entry from the brilliant Ken Burns, “The Roosevelts” PBS series. Poignant and revealing stuff of legendary people.


  10. Yep. 🙂



  1. Daily Prompt – The Great Divide | RobertMcQ
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