I’m feeling like there’s something wrong with me. I think I only like shallow, light reading. I’m afraid I’m not very literary, and this is something that I WANT to be. Here’s how these reflections started. I tried to read The Girls From Ames, a non-fiction book about eleven women who have been friends for many years. It’s a book about friendship—I should be able to read that! I couldn’t.
Many times when I’m reading non-fiction, I feel like I get all I need from the book just by reading the introduction. This has happened to me many times. In The Girls From Ames, this group’s history was introduced and the author talked about what a truly unique relationship these women have. Then, there was one chapter about each woman. I got through the first two women (about 60 pages) and just said, “I get it. They have great relationships, so stop telling me that over and over by relating 700 different anecdotes.”
I’ve come up with a list of non-fiction books that I couldn’t finish (or suffered through) because they were either repetitive or extremely detailed. The Tipping Point, The China Study,The Blind Side, The Innocent Man, Devil in the White City, and Three Cups of Tea. There are probably others, but that’s all I can think of right now. There are non-fiction books that I like, but they usually tell a story—more like reading fiction.
Am I shallow? Most of the books I listed above got great reviews—best sellers. Should I try harder to read quality non-fiction? Is this normal? I mean, I’ve been through grad school and had to read a lot of non-fiction for school, but I don’t seem to be able to do it anymore. Maybe I’m just burned out. Thoughts?