Fiction vs Non-Fiction, a handful guide for better reading

Naren Yellavula
Nov 17, 2016 · 7 min read

Hello readers, Have you ever been in a confusion like “Which book I need to pick?. Fiction or Non-Fiction?”. Obviously, you will be choosing one or the other. In this article, I will tell you how to overcome that ambiguity and cultivate a good reading habit in your life.

First of all, if you are not reading books at all, fiction and non-fiction are new to you. So let me clarify about it in the below sections.

Before that, I want to ask you one question. Do you read frequently?. In this electronic world of smartphones and internet, many people are drawn far away from the books. Mostly in my country(India), people feel they will get rid of the books after coming out of the college. It is sad to say that, out of every 10 friends of mine only 2 people reads.

West(Europe & USA) is better compared to India in reading books. There, books(not academic) are part of their life. Books feed experiences and knowledge into humans. Books are an easy way to hijack the tips and tricks from a successful author. They show us the path to becoming better by knowing more.

A novel can teach us how to behave well whereas a biography can inspire us to reach new career heights.

I do respect the people who read. Because they might know more things than me and I should be cautious while speaking and arguing with them.


Fiction is a literature work which can be one of the following:

  • Novel
  • Parable
  • Short Story
  • Stage Plays & Poetry

Fiction is about fantasizing the things. The author of fiction usually will have a very high imaginative mind. If you ever finished a novel in your life, you read the fiction already. There are many genres in fiction itself. Juvenile, Horror, Historical Fiction etc. Coming to parables, they are intended to give an underlying message in form of the story. For example “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George Samuel Clason is a parable that teaches you financial tricks in the context of a imaginary city of Babylon.

Fiction heals the soul. It always tries to bring human elements into the focus.

Few people love fiction because it causes a sensation of thought in the reader’s brain. That thought may be of love, humor, satire, or fear. Here living in India in 2016, I don't’ know how British towns are in 1800–1950. I don’t know about the culture of different states of USA. By reading the fiction which is written by the authors in that period(called as victorian age), I can easily know what are interests of the people in those olden times. How clever they are, and what they use in their daily life. No need to read History anymore. Just read the novels from 1900–1950, you will know about the economic conditions, scientific transformation, and social life.

Another advantage of the fiction is “it allows us to admire the imagination, diversity of characters(if it is a novel or story)”. Reading a story is forgetting yourself from childhood. That is why we enjoy English(loads of stories) more than Social Studies(boring history & economics) when we are kids. So reading fiction will make you a more soft person and fills joy in you.

Russian literature is sweet. If you never tried that, you never encountered the best writings out there. Starting from the energetic Alexander Pushkin, we have the legendary Leo Tolstoy, the humorous Nikolai Gogol, the elegant Fyodor Dostoyevsky, the sorrowful Ivan Turgenev contributed to the golden Russian literature. These gentlemen passed us few great messages in the form of novels and short stories. Common life is reflected in the Russian literature. Go grab it with both of your eyes.

Coming to classics from British, adjectives are not enough. From old Shakespeare, Arthur Conan Doyle, Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Charles Dickens, Virginia Woolf to new JK Rowling, Philip Pullman, Julian Barnes, everyone has some magic and style of writing. Oscar Wilde makes you laugh. Jane Austen makes you cry. JK Rowling makes you wonder. Read these great people’s fiction. Your life is too short(just 100 years).


Non-Fiction is strictly a piece of writing about informative and existed things. It mainly deals with the following:

  • Biographies & Auto Biographies
  • Philosophy & Theory
  • Research & History
  • Suggestions
  • Analysis & Opinion

Non-fiction heals the mind. It improves your General Knowledge(GK) and Skills

It may not be true of quoting “Fiction is a story & Non-Fiction is a truth”. Non-fiction can be a truth or a mere opinion. Professors from many universities now are writing books based on their research. There is a show called TED where people discuss many interesting things. Those Authors are writing books which help you understand the problems & solutions from various topics.

Benefits of reading Non-Fiction

There are endless benefits of reading Non-Fiction. The first thing it will teach you how the world is functioning, second it exposes secrets of few great minds, so you can pick them. By reading the Non-Fiction, you will be able to improve intellectually, logically & analytically. Reading books related to your career(Ex: Software & IT ) will make you stand above your peers. Reading books on the multiple subjects(Global issues, Soft Skills, Economics) out of your domain makes you a wise man.

There are hundreds of good non-fiction books releasing every year. Pick them and read. Those books are invisible teachers who gift us a valuable gift called wisdom. Don’t range your interests to limited domains. Explore as much as possible. Try to take down notes.

Fiction vs Non-Fiction

Now comes the final debate. Fiction or Non-fiction. There are two kinds of readers who argue about the greatness of subject. Non-fiction readers say it is superior to fiction. They strike off the importance of the fiction by calling them mere time-wasting stories. But the reality is different.

  • Fiction & Non-Fiction both are two eyes for a reader. He miss something if he drops one and stick to the other one permanently.
  • Fiction helps you develop imagination and Non-Fiction helps you acquire lessons from successful people in the form of biographies.
  • My tip is to read Fiction and Non-Fiction simultaneously. It means cover both the books in your leisure time parllely.
  • Too much Fiction will make you feel bored and dreaming
  • Too much Non-Fiction may feel like rubbing of the personal opinions of an author upon you. So both should be balanced.
  • Read 10% of a novel + 10% of a non-fiction book everyday. In two weeks you will finish two books. In a month, four books. In an year, you may finish 40+ books.
  • Be as greedy as possible with reading. Try to finish few more chapters than scheduled. I just avoid filght(work place to home on vacation) and prefer train because in train, I get 3–4 peaceful hours of reading. I have an Amazon Kindle which I carry all the time with me. It is my best friend.

Always visit few interesting sites for book reviews and suggestions.

Final words

Reading is a very good habit. Many successful people in the world reads a lot. Few wise people whom I encountered in my life reads a wide range of books every week. Whether it is a Fiction or the other, just believe that reading can give you a lot of happiness. It truly gives :)

Happy Reading!

Fruits of my opinion

Books, Travel,Personal Opinions and notes

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