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October 29, 2011



That might be a life-cycle thing. John Kenneth Galbraith wrote when he was in his 70s that he found he was reading mostly in search of new information, new facts. But then he mostly wrote nonfiction anyway.

In "American Plastic," his 1974 essay on American experimental fiction writers Gore Vidal was working from a book of interviews with them, I believe, and he said that several of these guys said that they didn't like fiction and rarely read it. So this may not be a new trend.

At 60, I still read a mix of fiction and nonfiction, and my only complaint is that there's not more time. But my impression of the 'ordinary' reader, based on what my southern Indiana coworkers read, is that they read mostly fiction, though not "literary" fiction. Heroic fantasy, romances, mysteries, horror fiction, science fiction, maybe historical fiction now and then, with the very occasional nonfiction bestseller, like "Eat Pray Love."


This just pisses me off.

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