Monday Musings | The Yearn to Learn

October 2014

I have always loved learning. In Grade 4, a simple rock project kick-started my love for Geology; later, studying the types of clouds had me dreaming of being a meteorologist; and, for as far as I can remember, my love for reading encouraged me to dream big and learn continuously.

This year, on top of declaring my 2015 Reading and Blogging Resolutions, I promised myself that I would read more non-fiction. And while I still plan on holding up to this resolution (it is only January 5th, after all), I’ve also come to realize that non-fiction is not the only way one can learn from reading.

Just this past year, I learned what it was like to travel in Europe while things were falling apart, I found out that elephants are extremely loyal, and I understood what it feels like to push the boundaries of our imagination and dream about different worlds. Every book presents new lessons.

Because of this revelation, I’ve begun to take notes when a lesson jumps out at me when I read (non-fiction or not). I’m hoping to turn it into a feature, debuting later this month. My yearn to learn is strong – why not share it with others too?

Do you find reading fiction a good learning opportunity? If you’re a big non-fiction reader, do you have any “must-reads” to suggest to a non-fiction newbie like me?

15 thoughts on “Monday Musings | The Yearn to Learn

  1. The Paperback Princess says:

    I really want to get you on the non-fiction bandwagon. I need to know more to “prescribe” the right titles. We should have a chat about this more.

    I do like what you’re saying about learning from fiction. I find that oftentimes after I read some fiction I want to know more about something in particular and then I wind up down a rabbit hole of Russian history for example.

  2. Naomi says:

    Far and away, I have always preferred fiction. I don’t know why, but that’s the way I am. But one of my favourite things about reading is all the stuff I learn. I have learned so much from reading! And, not just facts, but also experiences and emotions. Sometimes, one book will lead to another, or will lead me to look things up to learn more about them. I do sometimes wish that I read more nonfiction, because there are so many interesting looking nonfiction books out there, but I’ve come to accept my preference for fiction. I struggle with whether or not there would be benefits to making myself read books that I don’t really want to. Would that be good for me, or bad? My guess is that I would end up liking them well enough, because, really, I like almost everything I read. Maybe someday I’ll challenge myself to read more nonfiction. For now, I look forward to seeing how you do with it! I’m also looking forward to your new feature- it sounds interesting!

    • Karen @ One More Page... says:

      I’m the same way. When given a choice between a fiction book or a non-fiction book, I almost always choose fiction. I definitely think that I’ve become a more empathetic person because of my reading and a lot of it has to do with my feelings towards fictional characters! I think it’s wonderful that you know what you like and have come to accept it. Why waste time on something that you know won’t blow you away?

  3. cubbieblue26 says:

    I have always loved to learn, and I think you can learn a number of things from a wide variety of sources! I’m not a huge nonfiction fan, but I do find things to strike my fancy on occasion. I loved True Notebooks by Mark Salzberg. I found I learned quite a bit from the books Under and Alone by William McQueen and First Family Detail by Ronald Kessler (though I was bored by the end of the latter book). The Happiness Project taught me lots of little strategies that I use across many aspects of my life. I Can Make You Sleep by Paul McKenna did improve my sleep habits. I have also learned things from Sin in the Second City by Karen Abbott and An Innocent Man by John Grisham. Maybe one of these will sound appealing to you 🙂

    • Karen @ One More Page... says:

      Ooh, I’m glad to hear that The Happiness Project was a useful read for you! I recently received a copy of Gretchen Rubin’s Better Than Before and I’m excited to learn from it! I definitely want to check out some of your recommendations! (Thank you for the list!)

  4. My Book Strings says:

    One of the reasons I love to read historical fiction is because I learn from it. A lot of times, the details of a life or a time period come across much better when they are woven into a story that I can relate to. It’s easier for me to remember the details, too, when I read a story rather than just facts. I “discovered” non-fiction only a few years ago, when I suddenly realized that non-fiction can be easy and entertaining to read as well. It’s hard for me to recommend any titles without knowing what you are interested in. But there are lots of interesting books out, and I am sure you’ll find something you like.

    • Karen @ One More Page... says:

      Yes! I’m going to try to read more historical fiction this year because of that. I think I’ll just have to go to the bookstore one day and see if any non-fiction books strike my fancy. maybe that will help me “discover” non-fiction too!

  5. Leah says:

    I definitely think we can learn from fiction. Aside from the facts and ideas I learn about, I KNOW reading fiction makes me a more empathetic person. Emotional knowledge counts, right?

    I love the idea of writing about the things you learn while reading 🙂

  6. Alice says:

    I have learnt loads from fiction and non-fiction. I’d say I’d learnt more about emotive aspects of growth through fiction, and more intellectual nuggets from non. Quiet by Susan Cain is one of my favourite non-fic books, and ANYTHING by Jon Ronson is a win – start with The Psychopath Test.

    • Karen @ One More Page... says:

      That’s a great way of putting it. I’ve been curious about Quiet by Susan Cain. Being an extrovert who is living with an introvert, I’ve often wondered if I should pick it up so I can be more sensitive to my partner’s needs. I may just have to do that!

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