The Great Divide

From The Daily Post, today’s topic was “The Great Divide,” asking “When reading for fun, do you usually choose fiction or non-fiction? Do you have an idea why you prefer one over the other?“

I read when I prefer to read. Sometimes, I read fiction. Other times, I read non-fiction. There are so many other ways to get information and entertainment, like websites, videos, and audio means (that are not audio books). Mostly, I read on the ferry, where the internet connection is spotty and I’m left to myself for 30-40 minutes at a time.

When I read fiction, it has to be for fun. If you’re not having fun reading it, why bother? It’s fiction; and without entertainment value, it would not have much value at all.

That being said, I’m not sure that it’s for fun. Often I read nonfiction, but it’s because I want to learn how to do something that’s fun, such as, building antenna’s or writing software for a fun project. However, it’s the activity that it supports that’s fun, not the reading itself. While I do enjoy learning from books, it’s the application of the learned materials that provides the real fun.

I also read differently when I read fiction and non-fiction. When I read fiction, I read start to finish. If you don’t, you lose context and miss important content. You might gloss over something really funny or crucial to the story line if you didn’t read the passage that set it up.

Non-fiction is different. It’s OK not to understand the antenna tuner’s circuit ins-and-outs when you’re building a dipole antenna. You can pick the portion of the ARRL handbook that deals with that specific solution. You don’t divert your attention to the chapter on tuning the antenna down to the band that you want.

I enjoy reading both, but I think only fiction is the fun reading. Non-fiction is just a means to an end, even if the end is fun. 🙂

 

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