You guys are boring. Fiction brings a little something new to the world while non fiction is like a math class. Boring and you'd rather be somewhere else.
(I thought I posted this New Year's Eve.)
Try as I might, like Kinsley, I can not imagine writing fiction, though often enough my true-life tales are viewed as flights of fantasy, as are my deductions about recent history.
Meanwhile, of all the many, many books of both fact and fiction that I have read in the last 10 years, the only one that actually thrilled me was Robert Snow's "Looking For Carroll Beckwith", purportedly the true story of a skeptical homicide detective's encounter with past lives regressive hypnosis and the search it inspired.
Gosh! All I read is non-fiction. And it seems that every other day I'm adding a new non-fiction title to my Amazon.com wishlist.
Fiction just doesn't do it for me. I don't need bombastic prose and metaphors to appreciate the reading experience.
I find reading about the real world, be it good or bad, far more interesting because I enjoy learning how it (and the universe) works.
Thank goodness for the librarians at our local public libraries who purchase just about any nonfiction book worthy of mention. It gives me the opportunity to read across a wide range of topics, all the way from the 001's to the 950's in the Dewey system. In general, I take home at least two new ones every week, and read 100% of half of those - there are just so many good ones out there. So no, I'm not looking for a hidden offer of cash - the stuff inside is reward enough.
Fiction - I can think of only 2 works of fiction I cared to finish this year, one of them Tree of Smoke, the other, the Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - nothing else published this year compares, these are two of the Great American Novels.
MAN am I glad Michael Kinsley doesn't run my local library system or purchase for my area book stores. If he was in charge my library card would have expired by now. I have zero interest in reading fiction. And, I read a dozen or more books per year. There are enough compelling stories of events that actually happened or people who actually changed the world to obviate the need for this reader to waste time "pleasure reading" someone's imaginings.
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On The Media is funded, in part, by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation,
the Overbrook Foundation and the Jane Marcher Foundation.