Among the many posts viewed and those commented upon, Fiction and Non-Fiction. The Great Divide!, stood out. It struck a nerve when Vibrant asked “When reading for fun, do you usually choose fiction or non-fiction? Do you have an idea why you prefer one over the other?” My mind flew to familiar articles about reading for pleasure and recommendations for the same.
I translated Fiction to mean Romance, and my mind flew to a research article, What We Know and Don’t Know About Reading, Readers, and Readers Advisory Services. The uses and gratifications (Chelton, 1999) that a novel provides its reader can help explain the appeal and reader’s response to the text. McQuail specifies entertainment or escape as one type of gratification provided, and Radway studied Romance readers’ ability to escape or relax.
To answer the question, I read Fiction; specifically Romance. I agree with McQuail and Radway that it serves the purposes of entertainment, relaxation, and escapism; that’s not a little thing. Some people look down on reading romance, but scientists and other high-level professionals read this genre; many even write Romance. The above gives you some idea of why I prefer reading Fiction over Non-Fiction for leisure-reading.