There’s nothing more comforting than escaping into fiction. But nonfiction can be as captivating, fascinating and dramatic as stories of make-believe. From biographies to history books — the best nonfiction books draw you into their worlds, broaden your horizon and offer fresh perspectives on the world we live in.

Get to Know Fascinating People

What do Benjamin Franklin, Michelle Obama and Will Smith have in common? Right, they’ve all published autobiographies. Reading an (auto-)biography allows you to get to know some of the greatest thinkers, writers, artists or politicians at a deeper level. It offers you a unique insight into a world and experience that may be very different from your own. Autobiographies, biographies and memoirs give you an authentic and fascinating behind-the-scenes look at some of the most unique minds, who’ve achieved outstanding things, but also faced challenges and failures along the way. In learning about their stories, we can gain a deeper understanding of others, develop more empathy, and reflect on our own lives.

Broaden Your Horizon

Whether you’re interested in history, science, the arts, health or sports, there’s virtually a nonfiction book for everything. The best nonfiction books are written by experts in their field, who’ve spent months, years or even their whole lives researching their topics. This commitment makes their works not only educational but also engaging. The best authors of nonfiction don’t just enumerate facts, but they bring their subjects to life by assembling the facts into a memorable narrative, using examples, anecdotes, or metaphors. In the end, you learn something new, gain fresh perspectives, and end up seeing the world with different eyes. Also with all that knowledge in mind, you’ll be the star at the next cocktail party conversation.

Challenge Yourself

Admittedly, nonfiction isn’t as accessible as fiction. Especially when it comes to more complex topics, it takes much more focus and time. But I think it’s important to challenge yourself sometimes. There’s nothing more rewarding than finishing the goals you’ve set yourself. This can be reading a long essay, picking up a new subject or exploring an unknown author. In the end, you may even find your new favourite author or get interested in a topic you wouldn’t have dreamed of liking before.

Why not set yourself the goal of reading at least one nonfiction book this year? Two of my recent favourites are Born a Crime by Trevor Noah and The Anthropocene Review by John Green, which I highly recommend.

Why do you enjoy reading nonfiction? What non-fiction books do you recommend? Let me know in the comments below!


11 thoughts on “Why Read Nonfiction?

  1. Great post! When nonfiction is well-written, it can be even more impactful than the best fiction – because it’s real. On the other hand, I think both fiction and nonfiction can be challenging and broaden your horizons. But I do enjoy learning and studying, so I do read quite a few hardcore nonfiction books about quantum physics and stuff like that. These are of course very different compared to fiction .

    Liked by 1 person

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