A good way to manage a balance between fiction and non-fiction is to buy something that 'supports' the novel you are enjoying.
So if you are reading a novel by John Le Carre' - for instance - then maybe partner it with a good factual book about the history of MI6/SIS and/or the Cambridge Spies.
It can work the other way around of course. A good contemporary fictional work can breathe life into a historical period that you are reading about.
There's a couple of crime novels that my girlfrend bought for me a while back and Isaac Asimov's book I,Robot was very good so I'd like to try one of his other books from the Robot series.
How many fictional books have you ever read from choice? (Rather than because they were 'set' books for English courses at school.)
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Probably about a hundred or so. But over the last five years I haven't ready any fiction at all.
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I wasn't trying to make any point. Due to having a predominantly scientific/technical education (and working in IT for most of my adult life), I have come across a number of people who have no interest in fiction or art (or even music).
In a few - admittedly quite extreme - cases I have worked with individuals who actually got quite angry with the whole idea of fiction. One guy (an Iranian born American mathematician and programmer) got furious at the very idea that people would want to 'waste' their time reading 'lies' (his definition of fiction).
I have gone through mild phases of this myself. (I am still allergic to Thomas Hardy, ever since school, even though I passed my English literature O'Level with an A grade by some miracle!)
The (Welsh, ex-policeman) English teacher that we had for two years, poisoned any interest in reading good literature for a few years afterwards. It was my interest in history (and long - pre-internet - night shifts throughout my 20s) that eventually got me reading good fiction again. (A long route via history, then biographies and diaries to novels based on actual historical events and/or characters.)
With the exception of Thomas Hardy (still too painful) I got over it and my leisure reading is probably around 50/50 factual/fiction.
A few years ago a friend confessed he had only ever read 4 books and they were all football related! He was almost 30 and it shocked me as I assumed (a silly thing to do I know!) that most people read regularly.
I've read thousands of fictional books and when I was younger with no TV got through almost a book a day - all fiction. I use books as escapism as I get enough real life from my job.
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I read magazines (WHFS&V) & the internet obviously, but the last time i read a book was in the mid seventies, i think it was jaws, i got bored with the book but thoroughly enjoyed the film.
formerly known as slewis ---
Interesting question, and I have no idea. I got to 66 by counting the Stephen King and Terry Pratchett books I've read...
I've read 26 of the BBC's Big Read: http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/bigread/top100.shtml
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are you guys for real?? This is the home of culture, isn't it??
I read a book a week.
I like science fiction most and have read quite a few Arthur C Clarke and Greg Bear books. My girlfriend's into detective novels and I've read all of the Sherlock Holmes, Inspector Rebus and Inspector Tom Thorne books which are all very good. I've also tried a couple of the Morse books but found them to be very slow and boring. They're not a patch on the brilliant TV series.
Nowadays I only read factual books. Mostly about astrophysics and quantum physics which I find very interesting even though my little brain struggles to understand them.
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Hang on there, mate! Some words have more than one syllable.
The only one I can see is 'syllable'!
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... and Isaac Asimov's book I,Robot was very good so I'd like to try one of his other books from the Robot series.
Recommend the Elijah Baley series, starting with The Caves of Steel and moving through to Robots and Empire - different in they're all single stories (rather than a collection of short stories like I, Robot is), but very entertaining detetective stories.
Did reading 'Jaws' put you off the whole idea of reading books for pleasure? (I've never read it myself, but I can't imagine any book so bad that it puts you off all further books for the next forty years.)
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