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Guest Blog: A Year of Non-Fiction? by Emily

I have been utterly and completely turned off reading fiction.

I’m not sure why, but I just don’t wanna.

I’ve been to the library a couple of times since I got back home — and god, I love the public libraries here in Singapore! — and I always walk away empty-handed from the fiction section. I go to bookstores, and wander out again, not having spent a single, precious penny. Which means I’m spending a ridiculous amount of cash on needlework stash and I really don’t need any more — FYI, my TBR pile is usually about 10 books and I have already achieved what we stitchers call SABLE: Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy.

Do you know what amount of monstrous effort that would normally require of me? Do you have any idea?

I’m someone who usually reads upwards of 200 novels each year. There are years when I make it close to, or even past the 300 mark.

Now I can’t remember the last time I read a novel. Can’t remember the last time I wanted to.

It’s depressing, is what it is. I don’t think I’m going to make it to the two hundred mark this year for novels.

I watch some TV. I have gotten rather addicted to NCIS for reasons best known only to my squishy, pulpy inner self. And I know it’s not the same. My true self, who is a bookworm, would never dream of likening TV to a book.

I listen to a lot of podcasts from the BBC and the Economist — I save a lot of time by not reading newspapers any more and using that time for stitching.

So I’m thinking.

An enforced year of reading only non-fiction. There’s nothing to stop me from reading narrative non-fiction, or watching TV or movies (I want to watch Salt!).

It might kill me. Or it might be my salvation and I’ll read nothing but fiction in 2012 — assuming that the world’s still here, and that I’m back at university, I’m pretty sure I’ll need it.

Do you think you could do it? Or do you think your soul would shrivel up into dry and cracked leather?

Emily spent the past three years in the cold and wet, and is now basking in the tropical sun. She was born in Malaysia, grew up in Singapore, and educated in Britain, and wishes people would realise an international lifestyle is actually all about the packing and unpacking.

2 comments to “Guest Blog: A Year of Non-Fiction? by Emily”

  1. Susan
    · August 13th, 2010 at 7:38 am · Link

    That is a long time to go without reading. I usually read about a hundred fiction books each year, give or take. The longest amount of time vie not read is six months. Usually what precludes me from reading is not my mood though. It’s work and other activities. Whenever I have free time, the books come out. I’m not sure I could survive a year without romance novels. How you have done it after being such an avid reader is beyond me!

  2. Renmiu
    · August 15th, 2010 at 10:52 pm · Link

    I hear you Emily. I usually read 100 novels per year. However, since I am part of a book club I don’t read that many. But at times I don’t want to be near fiction. Probably due to my knitting circle and the weekly knitting I do to relax after work. My point is I don’t get excited anymore from fiction novels unless they are recommented by someone I know or via Twitter…


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