Received to review via Netgalley
This is a collection of 70 pieces of writing on the topic of reading non-fiction. Many of the writers chosen speak about reading quite broadly, and some seem outright confused about the assignment, talking largely about fiction. In retrospect, I shouldn’t be surprised that the responses are largely predictable, with some authors discussing their personal need to read (often sounding ridiculously pretentious as they do so) and others talking about how reading elevates people, or even the entire human race. Some make sure to add a soupçon of contempt for those who don’t read, or at least hasten to make it clear that the illiterate are utterly impoverished, morally deficient, and overall doomed.
Why do I read non-fiction? I’m curious. That’s it. I don’t expect enlightenment, and I’m not seeking it. I just want to know things, and crave the moment where I can excitedly turn to someone else and share what I just read in tones of unbelief.
I suppose I also seek out non-fiction in specific moods, when I’m anxious or restless and I can’t bear to live in other people’s emotions too much. So I read non-fiction in much the same way as I read fiction, just in a different mood: to escape.
There. Now I’ve contributed.