There are two kinds of readers (she says the sweeping generalization well aware that less than a week ago she said there were four). People who like fiction, and people who like non-fiction. Okay, three, because there are also people who like both. BUT! In my experience most readers tend to prefer one over the other.
Fiction has the benefit of being escapist. It also offers a lot more potential variety, with the endless possibilities of fantasy and science fiction. Fiction tends to be more emotionally charged, and first-person narration can allow you to really feel that you know the character intimately. Fiction can also be written more accessibly and page-turnery, though that is not always the case.
Non-fiction, on the other hand, has the benefit of being real. Sometimes reality is more bizarre than fiction could ever be. (Tiger King, anyone?) Often the reader of non-fiction feels like they are learning something, which might be felt as self-improvement. Non-fiction is deceptively varied, ranging from history, to science, to food, to fashion, to memoirs. And while the writing style is often more aloof and less emotional, I often find that the events portrayed really stay with me longer, possibly because they are grounded in reality.
Now, I’m not here to say one is better. I truly don’t think that is the case. I believe it is entirely a matter of preference. What do you like to read?
I personally prefer fiction. While I’ve ventured into non-fiction a lot more in the last several years and enjoyed it, the vast majority of the books I read are fiction. Possibly because it is more familiar. Most likely because it is really random what I am interested in and what I’m not, and I find more fiction that catches my fancy. (Possibly because fiction is more popular widely, and especially in book blogging circles).
Whichever you prefer, I would strongly encourage you to give a book or two from the other camp a try. You may be surprised by how much you enjoy it!
So are you on Team-Fiction, or Team-Nonfiction? Why? Let me know in the comments!