When all is said and done, most people prefer to read either fiction, usually a novel, or non-fiction, usually a factual book on just one subject, but sometimes on several related subjects. Happily, for the reader, there are many types of fiction; however, for sheer numbers of types, non-fiction has fiction beat by miles. There are at least a hundred categories of information in any non-fiction classification system. For example, the Dewey Decimal system, used by public libraries, is one system, and the Library of Congress system, used by college and university libraries, is another. Since so many of us have really strong preferences for fiction over non-fiction or, vice versa, non-fiction over fiction, you may well ask, “Why?” So, here goes!

Why read fiction? Most often, fiction, likely a novel, takes us away from our everyday lives. We get lost in someone else’s life, usually a life that seems far more interesting than our own. Characters in novels often have unusual challenges or problems that the reader has never experienced, or actually has experienced, or wishes they had experienced, or never wants to experience! Any one of those scenarios makes for an exciting perspective that keeps the reader guessing, turning page after page. Fiction can take us to places we have only dreamed about. And, often, the reader is so drawn into a character that the line between real and imagined becomes a fine line! This happens all the time with authors who write series with the same main character in each novel. Fiction can also take us into worlds we would like to know more about, like law, medicine, espionage, politics and, of course, relationships! We can learn a lot reading fiction.
Bottom line: Usually fiction is fascinating, as well as entertaining!

Why read non-fiction? Reading non-fiction is a work out for your brain, improving your memory and analytical skills, while helping to keep your brain younger longer. An apple a day, wait, make that a chapter a day, just might keep the doctor away! Non-fiction improves concentration and focus. You need to pay attention to what you are reading, if you are going to understand and remember what you are reading! Clarity of thought in written as well as spoken communication may also improve. That would be because, almost effortlessly, your vocabulary is going to improve. What you learn by reading non-fiction makes you more knowledgeable about something that interests you!
Bottom line: Non-fiction is a gateway to knowledge that does not depend upon having a formal education. You are enjoying reading and learning about a subject just because you want to know about it! It’s a win win!


Adult Fiction:
The Shadows of Foxworth,” V.C. Andrews; “The Vanishing Half,” Brit Bennett; “Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Evolution,” Brian Freeman; “Deadly Touch,” Heather Graham; “Half Moon Bay,” Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman; “The End of Her,” Shari Lapena; “Robert B. Parker’s Grudge Match,” Mike Lupica; “The Friendship List,” Susan Mallery; “The Midwife Murders,” James Patterson and Richard DiLallo; “Say No More,” Karen Rose; “The Wedding Dress,” Danielle Steel

Adult Non-Fiction:
“Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own,” Eddie S. Claude Jr.;  “Trump and the American Future: Solving the Great Problems of Our Time,” Newt Gingrich;  “The Perfect Father: The True Story of Chris Watts, His All-American Family and a Shocking Murder,” John Glatt;  “Live Free or Die: America (and the World) on the Brink,” Sean Hannity;  “Whatever It Took:  An American Paratrooper’s Extraordinary Memoir of Escape, Survival and Heroism in the Last Days of World War II,” Harry Langrehr and Jim DeFelice; “His Truth Is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope,” Jon Meacham;  “Chasing the Light: Writing, Directing, and Surviving Platoon, Midnight Express, Scarface, Salvador and the Movie Game,” Oliver Stone;  “The Answer Is…” Alex Trebek;  “More Than Love: An Intimate Portrait of My Mother, Natalie Wood,” Natasha Gregson Wagner

“I Survived the California Wildfires, 2018,” Lauren Tarshis

Young Adult:
“Hawk,” James Patterson

Children’s Picture Books:
“Clifford Goes to Kindergarten,” Norman Bridwell;  “Wild Symphony,” Dan Brown;  “Elbow Grease: Fast Friends,” John Cena; “Pete the Cat: Crayons Rock!” Kimberly and James Dean;  “5-Minute Under the Sea Stories,” Disney Books;  “We Will Rock Our Classmates,” Ryan T. Higgins;  “Pinkalicious: 5-Minute Pinkalicious Stories,” Victoria Kann;  “Pinkalicious: Schooltastic Storybook Favorites,” Victoria Kann;  “Curious George 3-Minute Stories,” H.A. Rey;  “Heroes Wear Masks: Elmo’s Super Adventure,” Sesame Workshop;  “How To Catch a Yeti,” Adam Wallace and Andy Elkerton