AROUND TOWN: Do you prefer reading fiction or non-fiction? | Lifestyles


If you’re a reader, are you a fan of non-fiction, fiction, or both? Does one category or genre appeal to you more than another? Or, are you like me, and happily read cereal boxes if that’s all that’s available?

Having lunch with friends the other day, the subject turned to reading. Two of my friends indicated that they only read non-fiction. They are not interested in reading anything of fiction, except, it has been said, the occasional historical fiction. Otherwise, they’re just not interested in spending their time on something that never really happened.

I certainly understand why people may feel this way. True stories are exciting to read. My last three books have been nonfiction stories: two on the Appalachian Trail and one titled “The Awakening of HK Derryberry,” which was co-authored by Andy Hardin, a retired Nashville lawyer who now resides here in Cumberland County and is a member of our small group at church.

However, I also like fiction. It’s mind-boggling to me that writers can literally create a story, using characters, settings, plots, twists, etc., just from their own imaginations. They also have to write dialogue and then remember throughout the book which character said what to whom and so on.

Over the years people have told me that I should write a book because I love reading and writing. Although they’re flattered, they think I can do it…really, I’m not. The writing that I do here in this article every two weeks is based on facts. I write about things that happened. It’s not fiction. I think it’s much harder to do and definitely above my level of expertise. I’m sure if I was writing a fictional book, my readers (if there were any) would wonder what happened to this character? Or, I thought this character was doing this and that. Mine would be so disjointed; readers would put the book down after the first chapter! I’m sure there would be no flow in my stories.

At least I have a framework for my writing. Fiction writers don’t. They cultivate a story in their head, then do all the deep dives into plot and character development pulling ideas from who knows where. In fact, I saw a coffee mug the other day that said, “I’m a writer.” Anything you say or do can be used in a story.


Congratulations to the Panther 2022 Homecoming King and Queen from Stone Memorial High School. That honor goes to Kaleb Flowers and Haley Scruggs. They were crowned at the SMHS match ceremonies on Friday after a week of dress-up days. They included Pajama Day, Country vs. Country Club Day, Celebrity Day, All But A Backpack Day, and Panther Spirit Day. Speaking of the Panthers football team, they will be making a short trip to Monterey on Friday September 9th. The Panthers are 2-0 going into Friday’s game against the Wildcats. The first kick is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Meanwhile, if you’re reading this Thursday night, the Jets are en route to Lenoir City where they will play their road game this week. Game time is 6:30 p.m.

Mark your calendars for Friday, September 16, for the annual “Lunch on the Lawn” benefiting Habitat for Humanity. This 15th annual fundraiser will begin at 11 a.m. and run until 1 p.m. on the lawn of the Cumberland County Courthouse. Call Jessica Stephens, Director of Development, if you need additional information at 931-484-4565.

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