why i don't read fiction

earlier this week i was talking with my friend spencer and he suggested a pair of books to add to my reading list. i said that i likely wouldn’t read them. he asked why. i responded ‘because they’re fiction.’ he said we should talk about it later, but that he disagreed. 

he and i will probably talk about it later, but the reason i don’t read fiction is because i genuinely feel like i don’t have time for it. for better or worse, i feel like i carry a lot of weight from my ancestors. hopes and dreams from people who lived through incredibly difficult times are in my blood.

obviously i have the freedom to do whatever i want with my life. and yet, i feel a responsibility to do the most that i can with the life and energy i have been gifted.

not only that, but my parents spent a lot of time, energy, money, and family heartache to give my brother and me opportunities to do well (by conventional definitions).

and i feel like the best use of my time and energy is learning as much as i can as quickly as i can so that i can be the most effective change agent as possible.

and again, for better or worse, that means that i feel like if i’m going to read, i want to read things that are going to give me the most tools and teach me the fastest. of course, i believe that fiction and narrative (and futurism) are important. but given my education and socioeconomic status, if i’m going to read, i want to read something that’s going to make me a more effective change agent and fast. i loved reading ender’s game and i learned a ton from it. and reading books like pedagogy of the oppressed and resilience taught me just as much, if not more, in less time.

also, real life is crazy enough. sometimes even watching the news is surreal. to read fiction seems superfluous to me much of the time because real life is crazy enough.

so yea. that’s why i don’t read fiction.

sorry, not sorry.