Do you read nonfiction regularly? Do you read it in a different way or place than you read fiction?
Perfect timing for this question, as I’m reading a nonfiction book just now – A House in Fez, by Suzanna Clarke, who purchased an ancient, dilapidated riad (home) in Morrocco, and undertook the process of restoring it to it’s traditional beauty. Clarke’s experience seems so daunting – not only is she dealing with a huge language barrier, but a major cultural one as well, living in a Muslim country where the strictures applied to women are so stringent. I’ve read similar books in this vein – Peter Mayle’s series on moving to Provence, and Frances Mayes books about her villa in Tuscany. I’ve always enjoyed reading about people moving to foreign cultures (although I’ve never been really tempted to do so myself). It’s a bit ironic, really, because my son has been living in Thailand for the past six months, having his own “out of culture” experience. He’s been chronicling some of his experiences on his own blog, and there’s some “nonfiction” which I’ve followed with eager anticipation!
I often read non-fiction, preferably biography and memoir, although I’ve also enjoyed essays, particularly travel and food related writers. I enjoy reading poetry too – I suppose that counts as non-fiction, doesn’t it?
Although I can’t say I read non-fiction any differently than fiction, I’m more likely to be reading a fiction book at the same time.
Now tell me – if you read non-fiction, what’s your favorite genre?