I love Non-Fiction really …

Updating my books read list yesterday, I suddenly realised that The Luck Factor (reviewed here), was the first non-fiction book that I’ve read this year! Last year I read a dozen non-fic books, and the year before 18 out of over a hundred. This year, it just seems to have bypassed me, or maybe I bypassed it until now…

I do genuinely love reading non-fiction titles, especially popular science ones, and good showbiz/music biographies.  I have several shelves of biographies and other non-fiction titles sitting there patiently waiting to be read.  The two pictured are now on my bedside pile for reading soon.

Do you read non-fiction?
What are your favourite sub-genres?
What percentage of your reading does it make up?

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14 thoughts on “I love Non-Fiction really …

  1. My non-fiction reading is way down this year. Only about 2 all year long, and I just finished the 2nd. It’s definitely a shame because some of my very favorite books are non-fiction, and I kind of want to blame blogging for this failing because I’m a slow reader with a ton of books to read, and I’m always afraid digging into non-fiction will slow me down even more. I love a good memoir, and I’m always in for a good book that takes on a social issue, too, and books about travel, those, too. Yes, I need to rediscover my love for non-fiction, and soon!

    • I think you’ve hit the nail on the head Megan – I too find that reading non-fic generally takes more concentration, and requires slower reading.

  2. I read very little non-fiction apart from memoirs (and not many of those, although I have mostly enjoyed the ones I have read this year) – but by chance I am reading THE WOMEN OF THE COUSINS’ WAR which is the non-fiction companion volume to the three Philippa Gregory novels in the Cousins’ War series about the War of the Roses.

  3. I’ve read nearly all of Bill Bryson’s books including his hilariously funny memoir, The LIfe and Times of the Thunderbolt KId, but apart from that I almost always read fiction.

  4. the past few years non-fiction has made up about 10% of my reading. It was lower than that this year until this month when I’ve read 3 non-fiction books. I agree that it takes longer to read them than fiction, but they can be read over several weeks or stopped and started again later without any problem of forgetting the plot and for that reason I like to have a non-fic book on the go to read a few pages in the mornings with my breakfast – easier to do now than when I was working full-time!

    • That’s what I should be doing Margaret – dipping into a non-fic book in between times. My breakfast tends to be rather rushed though (I prefer to spend as long as possible reading in bed before actually getting up), so it has to be other times.

  5. As a professional physicist the answer to your first question is clearly going to be YES! I also review it (for the Journal of Contemporary Physics). In 2011 I have probably read (or at least part-read) two hundred or so non-fiction books. Favourite sub-genres (excluding all those that are work-related):

    Music, photography, history/geography/architecture of London, natural history.

    Overall non-fiction makes up around 75% (or maybe higher) of my reading.

  6. I love non-fiction but don’t read anywhere near as much as I’d like! My bookshelves are probably 40-50% non-fiction but as a reading percentage it’s nowhere near that high.

    I definitely find that non-fiction requires greater concentration (mostly) so I tend to read it more over the winter months when there are less customers in the shop and so I’m less busy/distracted/tired. At the start of 2011 I was reading all kinds of great books, but over the summer I just can’t keep my head in the game enough to read anything demandingh!

    In terms of subject, all kinds of things tickle my fancy – natural history, history, popular science and psychology, biography… One of my favourites is ‘Queuing for Beginners’, a quirky book examining the modern history of everything in an average day, from breakfast to the morning commute to evening telly. Fascinating stuff!

  7. I read quite a lot of biographies and histories – my grandfather was a historian and prolific writer so I suppose it’s in the blood – travel books, mainly the more amusing kind written by people like Tim Moore. And living in France has made me read about the country too, and some popular science books. And I love reading cook books too – they count as non fiction don’t they?
    I find that if I read a succession of novels, particularly ones at the lighter end of the spectrum, I get a real craving to read something that tests the brain a bit, but I do read far more fiction than non-fiction.

  8. I should have mentioned again, that there is now a book group for non-fiction readers in Abingdon. It meets on the second Monday of the month at Abingdon Library. Everyone welcome. Contact Michael Kovari on kovari(at)talktalk(dot)net for more info.

  9. I always read more fiction than non-fiction but it normally works out at 60%/40% although I haven’t done that well this year until recently.
    I love history books and I’m currently reading Lucy Worseley’s If Walls Could Talk about the history of rooms, but I also have a real weakness for travel memoirs and books set in France and Italy because I haven’t quite given up my dreams of having a house in one or the other! Last year I read a lot of nature books too, particularly Roger Deakin’s Notes from Walnut Tree Farm (for the second time)and Wildwood but I haven’t read so much this year apart from The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd about time she spent in the Cairngorms in the 1930’s and ’40’s.

  10. Pingback: Book Stats – Review of 2011 « Gaskella

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