Scratching the non-fiction itch

Like any self-respecting book nerd, I have a physical TBR stack. A cabinet, actually. My little blue cabinet sits in the living room housing all the stories that I’ve collected in the last several years, always meaning to read them until I get distracted by newer, more hyped books.

Some are books that a friend has loaned me, that I haven’t been in the right mood to read. Some are books I pilfered from my sister when she sort of left the country and was selling all of her possessions. A lot are books I’ve bought on sale or as the mood struck and a lot of these are non-fiction.

I have biographies of royals, books about WWII, movie stars, Kennedys, feminist essay collections, social sciences, and writers. More than fiction, I can never not buy the non-fiction I stop and look at. Ever since I passed on a book about Stalin’s daughter and went back only to never be able to find it again, my policy is not to pass up the non-fiction titles.

But so much of the reading I do is fiction. So once I bring these tomes home, they go into the blue cabinet and there they stay.

Except that recently, my reading has been leaning towards non-fiction. And for some reason, I’ve been fighting that. It’s probably a result of having been on maternity leave for nearly a year, feeling like my brain is withering, like I need something to try and stay sharp. I crave learning and my blue cabinet is well supplied with an education.


So why am I fighting it? Why when I finish a non-fiction title do I feel like the next few have to be fiction? Why am I resisting the back-to-back non-fiction reading if that’s what I feel like right now?

I’ve spent the week with a very-hyped fiction title and I didn’t love it. I felt like I was reading so slowly, that my brain was atrophying, like I wasn’t sharp enough to keep up with the story. Before that, I spent the same amount of time with a non-fiction title (so long strong April reading numbers) and it felt like I’d lived three lifetimes – in a good way!

I’m heading to my in-laws’ again soon and I’m not fighting the urge to bring non-fiction. I’m going to lean into it. Eventually, I’m sure the desire to read fiction will come back. Until then, I have a lot of non-fiction to get through.


5 thoughts on “Scratching the non-fiction itch

  1. Tell us what book made you feel like you’d lived three lifetimes! Im in a non fiction mood too, just started one about WWII and one about a French philosopher. Sorry to hear about the brain atrophy, it happens on mat leave!

  2. It was J. Randy Taraborrelli’s Jackie, Janet & Lee!
    I think it’s that I’m out of the pure survival stage and have time some days and I don’t know what to do with it! And you realize that there are whole parts of your brain you haven’t used in agesssssss

  3. It’s so hard to think I love you child so much yet I cannot wait to be with a person that can talk back and have an adult conversation. I’m cycling still mostly between nonfic and then romance or fluffy reading because that’s what I can handle mentally and I’m good with it! Happy reading!

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