Essay collections, memoirs, biographies, you name it — if it's nonfiction, I'm interested. While I love fiction and my nightstand is littered with make believe, I can't get enough of the true stories, either. They're fascinating, eye-opening, and sometimes, even crazier than fiction. If you're a nonfiction-lover, then you know exactly what I mean.
When it comes to reading, nonfiction books cover a lot of bases. They can be as captivating as fiction, as suspenseful as mysteries and thrillers, and as imaginative as fantasy and sci-fi. Whether they're telling someone's life story or examining an entire culture, nonfiction reads are gripping, and it doesn't matter if you know how the whole story shakes out in the end, because getting there is half the fun.
Nonfiction stories come in all shapes and sizes, from letters to essays to mini self portraits, each one bringing out the best the genre has to offer.Reading nonfiction is more than just reading. It's learning, exploring, and understanding something real. It's walking in a suffragette's shoes, having an intimate conversation with a comedian, or simply examining the perils of modern dating. There is nothing nonfiction books can't cover.
If you're a nonfiction junkie like me, you already know all these things because you love the genre just as much as I do. And because you love the genre so much, here are nine other things you know to be true.
1. People — Real People — Are Strange
You should know this just by riding the subway everyday, but people IRL are often times even weirder than fictional book characters. They do strange things, make crazy choices, and they have plenty of WTF moments to keep you scratching your head. People are just plain strange, but it makes for great storytelling.
2. The Truth Can Be Unbelievable
If it sounds too good — or too crazy, too wild, too outrageous — to be true, is it? After reading plenty of memoirs, true crime stories, and biographies, the answer is often yes, even the the most unbelievable things are true. The world is a crazy place, and you never know what can happen.
3. The Good Old Days Aren't All Good
While people like to reminisce about the past, nonfiction lovers know that it isn't always what it's cracked up to be. Just like the present, the "good old days" were filled with conflict and drama, but nostalgia is a powerful thing, so the past can seem like a better time and place. Come on, nonfiction readers, we certainly know better than that.
4. Keeping the Facts Straight Is Important
Though nonfiction is still a creative form of writing, readers appreciate the accuracy. Nonfiction lovers know how important the truth (and the details) are when it comes to telling a good story. We want the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth — OK, we do want a great story, too, but nonfiction can handle that.
5. There Is Always Another Side of the Story
Nonfiction lovers enjoy reading someone's perspective on a person's life, historical event, or current cultural topic, but we also understand what we're reading is just one piece of the story. Thank goodness there are plenty of other nonfiction books out there to tell the rest.
6. Real Life Isn't Always a Fairy Tale — But Sometimes, It Can Be
While nonfiction aficionados know that life gives you a lot of lemons, it can also send you a prince charming — or at least a ride to the ball. Life sucks a lot of the time, but when it isn't busy being terrible, something magical can happen. Nonfiction lovers know this, because we've read it so many times.
7. You Can Learn From Other People's Experiences
Sure, you can learn from your own mistakes, but isn't it better to learn from someone else's so you can avoid screwing up all together? Nonfiction lovers understand that there is a lot of wisdom to be had from someone else's life choices, and we're thankful for the opportunity to learn while reading.
8. Hindsight Really Is 20/20
Looking back can shed light on a lot of things, but damn, it's frustrating to see things so clearly after they happen. However, nonfiction lovers know there is no use in dwelling. What's done is done, and there is always a new chapter.
9. Telling the Truth Is Truly An Art
Nonfiction lovers know there is more to nonfiction that regurgitating facts. Writing nonfiction stories that are interesting and engaging — which so many are — is an art form all its own. Who knew telling the truth was so hard?
Images: Jinx!/flickr; Giphy (9)