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Top 10 reasons to read non-fiction books

Updated on January 22, 2013

All non-fiction is as boring as high school textbooks

I can not tell you the number of times I have heard this from people I meet while traveling or in bookstores. There is the perception that not only is non-fiction not-interesting, but positively unreadable but everyday readers. Many times we have been tarnished by having to read certain books in high school or college that were as dry as a math textbook (apologies to physicists who enjoy math textbooks). Yet over the past decade there has been a resurgence in extremely well written historical books that just happen to have the benefit of being factual. It might seem like a stretch to compare one of these books to the gripping nature of Hunger Games or Ken Follett, but these non-fiction books deal with topics just as intense and action packed. Wars, genocides, slavery; all have taken place in our past and written about in gripping detail. Sometimes truth is better than fiction.

Top 10 reasons why you should try non-fiction

  1. Learning the past can help us make better decisions for the future. Even if you are not running for president or congress, you should be an informed citizen when going to the polls.
  2. We live in a fascinating world. Did you know for instance that most of our early vaccines came from us injecting weakened viruses into horses, letting them fight off the disease and then using their blood to form a human vaccine? How about the peanuts was never meant to be a funny comic for kids, rather a serious comic for adults. Finally, how about that Mao in China was actually thrown out of power twice, ignored it and simply walked into the closest Chinese military base and claimed he was in charge...and they believed him!
  3. History repeats itself and thus if you don't remember the past you are condemned to repeat it. If we do not learn from our mistakes in wars, famine, climate change, animal treatment, how can we ever expect to do better in the future?
  4. There is a piece of history for everyone's interest. Celebrities, sports athletes. movie stars, past presidents, rocket scientists, even comic book artists. You name the interest and there is a book for you.
  5. Trying something new is always a fun experience!
  6. If you are worried that non-fiction is always a long book, fear not. Many times these books are just as brief as fiction stories or like Harry Potter just as long.
  7. History is so much more than names and dates, many times these books contain just as much dialogue as a fiction story with play-by-play action! Wars and rocket launches are bound to keep anyone turning those pages.
  8. At parties or at work you can bring up interesting pieces of history that can be added to any conversation. Use examples from history in business conversations and you will demonstrate your intelligence and depth of character.
  9. You get to realize how much in movies is made-up just to make an interesting story. While there is nothing wrong with movies trying to make entertainment, it is equally important for you to know what really happened.
  10. You never know, you might just love it.

Do you prefer non-fiction or fiction books

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Do you have a top book you would like to suggest?

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    • wiseriverman profile image

      wiseriverman 4 years ago

      Recently I've been reading U.S. Grant's memoir and I was happily surprised to find that it was much like being told good stories by a friend or relative. I have a new appreciation for Grant. He was a kind, gentle and thoughtful man. He's no longer just the guy on the 50 dollar bill but someone who I feel like I know very well.

      Great lens!

    • profile image

      marsha32 5 years ago

      I enjoy both fiction and non-fiction pretty equally.