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Dutchess_III's avatar

When reading for pleasure, do you prefer fiction or non-fiction?

Asked by Dutchess_III (38417points) September 17th, 2013

My first preference is non-fiction that is written in story form. Sea Biscuit and Scajawea, The Right Stuff come to mind first.

My second preference is fiction the is written so plausibly that it seems like it could be true. John Grisham’s stuff comes to mind.

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34 Answers

1TubeGuru's avatar

Non fiction is always my favorite.

Katniss's avatar

I prefer fiction. Trashy fiction. lol
I love Jackie Collins. That should tell you everything you need to know.
I also love James Patterson, Stephen King, Danielle Steel, Stephanie Meyer….. And Rosemunde Pilcher. The Shell Seekers was friggin amazing!!

I also enjoy books written about serial killers. Truly fascinating.

Seek's avatar

I am biliterary.


I read a lot of scifi and fantasy, mystery and horror, and a bunch of science, history, and religious/atheist books, and arts and crafts how-tos.

ETpro's avatar

I think that so long as the work is well written, I enjoy reading both equally. I read a whole lot more non-fiction, though, because I am so curious about cosmology, belief systems, logic, philosophy, the rise of human intelligence, etc.

Pachy's avatar

I enjoy both but lean toward non-fiction.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Non-fiction, I like historians and biographers, especially Foote, Tuchman. And primary source documents. Love digging up primary source documents. In fiction, I usually read the authors’ works in the order in which they were published. I like the early and mid-20th century the most —all the Parisian and Berlin ex-pats, especially the amazing groundbreaking women authors (Djuna Barnes, Nin, Jean Rhys), on through to the post WWII guys (Heller, Jones, Cheever, Salinger—For Esme with Love and Squalor has to be one of the best things I’ve ever read). Flannigan O’Connor. A Good Man is Hard to Find I thought was hilarious in the end when the bad guy says the old lady should’ve been shot everyday of her life. The guys who stayed home to write, like Steinbeck and Saroyan… One hit wonders like Harper Lee and her To Kill a Mockingbird and then the Beats (Ginsberg, Buroughs, Kerouc, etc.,) and post-beats like Braughtigan. Same with movies, early to mid-twentieth century directors, writers and actors. directors Hitchcock, Walsh, Ford, Wyler, Capra, Curtiz… writers Hecht, Hammett, Dorothy Parker, Anita Loos, Adela Rogers St. Johns, Olga Printzlau… actors Bogart, Stanwyck, Oberon…

I like some modern writers like Elmore Leonard who just died a couple of weeks ago. He did Freaky Deaky, Get Shorty. The first few pages of Freaky Deaky, the set-up and character development was pure art—and freaking hilarious. I can’t remember the new guys’ names. There are some good ones, though.

But mostly I read non-fiction.

dxs's avatar

When I read for pleasure, it’s non-fiction.
My favorite categories (In no particular order):
Music Theory
Music in general
History on certain topics

Coloma's avatar

Non fiction. I like factual knowledge not fantasy. I have read some good novels in my time, but prefer biographies, historical stories, true crime, and animal stories.
I just read ” Snowball the eighty dollar champion” recently, great story about a broken down horse taken off a slaughter truck in 1958 who became a champion show jumper and lived another 20 years as a well loved and cared for horse.

Sunny2's avatar

I have to hear what I read to understand it and fiction is easier to hear than non fiction, so I mostly read fiction. I could read non fiction aloud and understand it better. I’ll have to try that.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Same as @Katniss, lots and lots of fiction. Non-fiction is okay, too, but for pleasure definately fiction.

Dutchess_III's avatar

You should read Sea Biscuit and Sacajawea for some pleasurable non-fiction fun!

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I prefer escape fiction. I’m a fantasy junkie- Lord of the Rings, Twilight, Harry Potter, etc… I’m also a romance junkie, but I can’t stand Danielle Steel. Some of my favorites are when fantasy and romance collide, with a pinch of mythological history thrown in, like in Karen Marie Moning’s novels. I absolutely love that woman’s work!

Dutchess_III's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate Have you read the Dragon Riders of Pern trilogy? It’s awesome.

Seek's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate have you ever Read Marion Zimmer Bradley? Sounds like she’s right up your alley.

Fantasy, history, and romance. The Mists Of Avalon, The Firebrand. Good places to start.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Mists of Avalon…I’d forgotten about that one. Need to get it in my library!

downtide's avatar

I prefer fiction, of a variety of genres. Currently I cannot get enough of Victorian literature and steampunk fantasy.

Blondesjon's avatar

Books are books are books are books.

If you hand me a book I’ll read it. I save my judgement for after.

yankeetooter's avatar

I prefer fiction (unless reading about volcanoes, hurricanes, or programming——I have weird tastes, lol!)

My favorite is fantasy…I’m not sure why, unless maybe it’s because I have experienced so much pain in my past, and thus like stories where the good guys win, even if it’s after a long hard struggle…

yankeetooter's avatar

@Dutchess_III…please tell me you’ve read than just the one Pern trilogy? There are lots of good Pern books!

Dutchess_III's avatar

No, I didn’t know! I haven’t seen any in my travels (which means garage sales and Goodwill.) I’ll keep my eyes open. :) Thank you.

yankeetooter's avatar

No problem… at the very least, make sure you’ve read the trilogy about Menolly (Dragonsong, Dragonsinger, and Dragondrums), and the one centering around Lessa (Dragonflight, Dragonquest, and The White Dragon).

Here’s a (hopefully) helpful link…

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’ve read Dragonflight and Dragonquest and The White Dragon. :)

yankeetooter's avatar

Go for the Menolly trilogy next…it actually kind of coincides with some of the events in the trilogy you have read already.

Blondesjon's avatar

I recommend The Gap Series by Stephen R. Donaldson.

How can you not enjoy a sci-fi series that includes a character named Angus Thermopyle?

yankeetooter's avatar

What books are in The Gap Series, @Blondesjon? I’ve only heard of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever…

Blondesjon's avatar

The Gap Series

my apologies. i meant to link that in my original post.

yankeetooter's avatar

Ah! Much obliged, @Blondesjon, but I prefer fantasy to science fiction.

Blondesjon's avatar

Terry Brooks/Robert Jordan as well as a shitload more i’m not mentioning fan here. I just gave you an outstanding collection of books to read.

Care to return the favor on the fantasy side?

yankeetooter's avatar

Well, Tolkien of course, and I really like Dennis L. McKiernan. Also, Katherine Kurtz (sort of a medieval meets magic thing, and way better than Game of Thrones). Goodness! Mercedes Lackey will keep you busy too. I just started reading Glenda Larke, but only her latest trilogy is available in the U.S. (Australian writer). I could go on and on…

Blondesjon's avatar

I’ll start with what’s here. Looking forward to it. I’m always prowling for something new to read. It keeps me from rereading the books I have to tatters.

yankeetooter's avatar

Let me know if you need more specifics (books, etc.) I am always happy to find a fantasy reader to share with! : )

Seek's avatar

Jon, give The Camulod Chronicles by Jack Whyte a shot.

It’s Arthurian legend, historically feasible. Absolutely fantastic. More masculine a series than I normally get into. I don’t think I came up for air until the fifth book.

Book one is called The Skystone.

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