What Will Happen When You Start Reading More Non-Fiction

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I’m a big believer that everyone should be reading more. Did you know, 1 in 4 Americans didn’t read a single book last year? For someone who has always considered myself a bookworm…this blows. MY. MIND.

Of the books out there, I think non-fiction gets an especially bad rap. They’re all like those school text books that put you straight to sleep, right?


In fact, besides the multitude of non-fiction books that are just as page-turner-friendly as their fictitious cousins, reading non-fiction can come with a lot of benefits…

You’ll Learn Valuable Lessons

When you read non-fiction, you can learn a ton of valuable life lessons. You could read about a specific time in history or read the biographies of interesting folk, giving you insight into both tragedies and triumphs. Reading non-fiction can help guide you when new opportunities come your way. They can offer you a powerful lens through which to view the world around you.

You’ll Improve Your Concentration

Reading requires a ton of focus. Increasing the amount of time you spend reading non-fiction each day can drastically help with concentration and productivity levels. I have found reading for 15 minutes before tackling a task that requires a lot of focus preps my brain to concentrate. Other times this may be of benefit to you? On a public transit commute, before you go to bed, or while you’re waiting for an appointment. 

You’ll Master New Communication Skills

Did you know that reading non-fiction can improve your communication skills as well? Your vocabulary will certainly expand, but you’ll also be able to begin mirroring how accomplished authors formulate their thoughts into words with the greatest efficacy. This can help you look more professional in the workplace and it can also help you gain confidence when expressing yourself.  You’ll find that many language learners practice English by reading aloud. Even as a native speaker you can take a page from their book (pun intended!) and brush up on your skills with a little at-home oration!

You’ll Gain General Knowledge

When you read non-fiction, you can easily boost your level of general knowledge as well as your intellectual level. (And if you’re still in school, actually doing the assigned reading will make sure you’re better prepared for those quizzes as well.) Regularly reading non-fiction will help you to better answer questions on the spot and give you fantastic talking points when you meet people who have similar interests to you.

If you’re convinced, here’s a reading list of some of my favorites to get you started —

A Few Non-Fiction Faves:

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

Kitty Genovese by Kevin Cook (I blogged about this one HERE.)

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer (I blogged about this one HERE.)

Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo

Heads in Beds by Jacob Tomsky (I blogged about this one HERE.)

* * *

At the end of the day, non-fiction will expand your knowledge and increase your intellectual confidence. When you put the work in and set time aside for reading, you can easily reap these benefits. Reading non-fiction is such a wonderful way to learn more about new subjects and expand your interests! So go do it!!!


14 thoughts on “What Will Happen When You Start Reading More Non-Fiction

  1. I love finding books to read via Amazon Prime Reading (different from Kindle Unlimited – i.e. free!). I also have so many books on my shelf to read. Definitely helps me to set aside time during the day for reading or else other “more important” tasks tend to take over.

  2. I can’t even begin to understand people who can go a year or several without reading a single book. Which planet are these people from?

  3. I have had Into Thin Air on my reading list *forever*. Have you read any of his other books? I really liked Born to Run a lot, but I’m a sucker for a dramatic sports story, as you well know.

    1. You should TOTALLY read Into Thin Air! It is the most of the MOST dramatic sports story. I’ve also read Into the Wild (classic) and I have Under the Banner of Heaven on hold at the library (it’s about polygamy so I honestly can’t believe I haven’t read it before now).

      I’ll have to bump Born to Run onto my list now that I know it has a Rachel endorsement!!

      1. Oop. I conflated the authors Into the Wild and Born to Run. I read and liked Into the Wild (though it’s a huge bummer lol). Born to Run, while not written by Krakauer , is great.

  4. what a lovely article – thank you. I enjoyed reading the book about Henrietta Lack I read a fair amount of history of science/medicine – as I find discovery fascinating. At the moment Im reading some history of Manchester in the UK (where I live). I read much more non-fiction than fiction at the moment Love Bec

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