Thursday, December 13, 2012

Things I’ve noticed: I do better at Nonfiction if I pace myself

Overall I’d saw I’m a pretty voracious reader – if I read less than half a dozen books over the course of a month, I feel like I’m falling behind.  (Actually, even reading my current seven books a month has me actually falling behind, but what can you do?), so in terms of reading any of my book club, fantasy, horror or Science Fiction books, I just fit in my reading into coffee breaks, lunch breaks, trips on the bus and early-morning reading sessions.

Nonfiction, however, is an entirely different beast.

Right now I’m reading Peggy Orenstein’s Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the front lines of the new Girlie-Girl Culture and I’m totally digging it!  As a father of two daughters, a book which focuses on the proliferation of princess-y images and values our culture aim at little girls is right up my alley.

It will take me about a week-and-a-half to get through, though.  Even though the book is only 192 pages of text (Big secret as to why nonfiction rules – the last fifth of the book is made up of indexes, bibliographies and other notes, so you finish faster than you think you will), I’m limiting myself to a chapter a day.

Personally, I feel that as nonfiction has so much information it’s trying to convey to the reader, I miss a lot of it if I just breeze through the book, so for me, I limit myself to a slower pace, allowing the info time to soak in.

Now the obvious question is – if I’m willing to do it for nonfiction, why not fiction?  Honestly, I think it’s because an ongoing narrative makes me interested in reading it whenever I can, because for short stories I do the same thing as nonfiction – a story a day until I’m finished.  I don’t know, for me this just feels more natural.

So there you go, some musings on nonfiction reading.

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