The Books We Read

This week’s Welcome to My World blog challenge question is what new thing have you learned this last week?

I learned that crushed eggshells DON’T stop snails.

But this post isn’t about snails or eggshells or my half-eaten sprouts. It’s about…well, I’m guessing you read the title.

I admit to researching—strictly from curiosity—books about my garden foe. There are lots of children’s books with fictional snail characters. But only a few snail books appeared in the adult nonfiction category with titles like, the world of snails and snail farming.

Regardless of age or topic, fiction and nonfiction can entertain and be educational.

My preference is nonfiction. In fact, my interest in real-life accounts began with slick magazines.

Their charming essays, striking captions, and feature stories drew me to the many creative lifestyles and elegant words.

When my monthly issue of Victoria arrived in the mail, I’d plop onto the sofa, recline with my knees pulled up, and then rest the magazine against my legs. I’d turn to the last page, delight in the writer’s childhood memories of summers on the lake, Sundays after church, that last remaining china cup filled with tea, and more.

The essays so inspirited me I wanted to write my own. This is how God began a work in me to become a writer.

I didn’t know at the time that reading essays in Country Living and Victoria magazines was part of God’s plan for my life. I simply enjoyed the lovely stories. It was through these narratives that I related to the musings of Bo Niles. Some of my favorite lines written by her include:

 “While I work, tall grasses whisper to me. I listen to them, and feel good.”

Country Living October 1995

“That is the best thing about traditions. They grow to embrace other traditions, like a tree with many branches.”

Country Living December 1995

“We cannot let the sense of wonder wither and die in our children. It is the key to our humanity.”

Country Living July 1997

At bookstores, I browse the nonfiction section first. I love books about people who accomplished a dream. Who beat the odds and established a hopeful path for others. Who learned to trust God with their careers, hobbies, or personal growth.

I also look through the fiction books offered on display tables. For me, fiction is about the author’s creativity, skill, and compelling characters I love or love to hate. (The latter group sure stirs us up, doesn’t it?) Fiction allows me to get lost in the writer’s make-believe mind and experience extraordinary plots. I can go through a time machine, be a detective, visit fairy lands and make-believe worlds.

At home, I keep my fiction and nonfiction print books on different shelves. They are almost equal in number. But nonfiction wins. On my Nook and Kindle, fiction wins.


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