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Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Reading Connection

A decision some years ago to maintain a 1:1 ratio of fiction to non-fiction books has had its challenges, especially when non-fiction subject matter is far removed from my experience. Yet the longer I stick with the practice, the more committed I am to continuing due to a noticeable by-product of my learning: An increased ability to connect with others I might have struggled to engage before.

Just within recent months, "The Wave" (Susan Casey), "The Big Short" (Michael Lewis), & "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" (Barbara Kingsolver), brought me into the world of surfing, finance, gardening. My previous background in those subjects? Zero. I readily admit only "The Wave" had me enough in its grip that I finished it straight through without reading either a novel or a different non-fiction book at the same time. My difficulties had little to do with the skill of the other two authors. Each time I put off finishing those books, I asked myself: What are you resisting? My consistent answer? Unfamiliarity.

So when I finished both, I was energized by my persistence and eager to engage people who know more than I about finance & gardening. I'd already had excellent results doing exactly that (with surfing) right after I'd finished "The Wave".

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