I am conflicted as far as today’s Daily Prompt is considered. If you’d have asked me this question a decade ago, the answer would’ve been emphatically fiction. The works of JK Rowling, Enid Blyton, Mark Twain, Jules Verne etc helped me build a vocabulary, experience worlds and flights of fantasy and have a rosy outlook on life. When upon life’s billows, I could always escape into say, Harry’s shoes, yell “Expelliarmus!” and be merry. Their enduring popularity has seen them top best-sellers lists and have shelves upon shelves of offerings in book shops. Scrutinising the thoughts of a character as imagined by somebody else is always a riveting affair. I also tried, whenever possible to read the original text, irrespective of how hard it was, to appreciate the evolution of language over time. Yes, I’m a nerd. 😛
However as I grew older, I began to lose interest in the idea of pretense – suspending my disbelief as something improbable, or not being able to relate to whatever was being narrated. I started devouring fiction that bordered on reality – commentaries by Charles Dickens, for instance. I guess ultimately my lack of appreciation for creativity in a way was responsible for me moving on to the likes of autobiographies, thought provoking insights and experiences, satire, history and what not! Being able to learn, rather than just be entertained was a massive influencing factor. Reading about say, a controversial issue from the point of view of the opposing camp is something I find very fascinating. Granted, some works of non-fiction tend to be obscure and require you to have prior knowledge, but then with a vast plethora of books out there, you can always find your niche. There is always room for debate, when it comes to a work of non – fiction, because more often than not, we tend to peruse about real people and their attributes, or lack there of.
Ironically, today as a grad student tired of reading tomes and tomes of academic text, I find myself reading George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series – the contents of which completely contradict my previous paragraph. While there is an interpretation and analysis of medieval era kingdoms and the struggles that came with the desire for power and wealth, we also have frankly inane ideas like reanimated corpses, dragons, and whatever the heck Melisandre is upto, (just began the series recently). Perhaps I’m not the right person to review this one. But you can bet I’m glad to escape reality, leave my doubting Thomas tendencies behind and curl up and read these books.