I read mostly fiction. For years I’ve been meaning to read more nonfiction, and I add more and more nonfiction titles to my Goodreads TBR, but there they sit, as I continue to devour novels. However! I’ve just stumbled upon a pretty obvious solution to my problem. PUT THE NONFICTION ON HOLD AT THE LIBRARY, LAILA.
See, one of the perks of working at a library is everyday access to the library catalog, where I can check and see if new titles have been added before they’re published. (Patrons can do this too, it’s just that I’m here all the time and think about it more often than the average person, probably.) So when I know the new Michael Connelly or Kate Atkinson book is coming out soon, I put myself on hold and hopefully will be near the top of the list. But for some reason, I NEVER THINK to put myself on hold for nonfiction. I’ve got a hold list full of fiction (and movies and compact discs ) instead.
A few months back I put White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson on hold. When it came around to me, shockingly, I read it! So I thought, “This worked so well, why don’t I look at my Goodreads list and put some more nonfiction on hold?”
Here are three nonfiction titles I’ve recently placed on hold (book blurbs from Goodreads:)
The Last Castle: The Epic Story of Love, Loss, and American Royalty in the Nation’s Largest Home by Denise Kiernan. (“The fascinating true story behind the magnificent Gilded Age mansion Biltmore—the largest, grandest residence ever built in the United States.”) At the moment I’m number 81 out of 91 waiting for it. (Knoxville isn’t too far from Asheville, NC, which is one reason I think that there are so many people waiting for this.)
The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women by Kate Moore. (“The Curies’ newly discovered element of radium makes gleaming headlines across the nation as the fresh face of beauty, and wonder drug of the medical community. From body lotion to tonic water, the popular new element shines bright in the otherwise dark years of the First World War.
Meanwhile, hundreds of girls toil amidst the glowing dust of the radium-dial factories. The glittering chemical covers their bodies from head to toe; they light up the night like industrious fireflies. With such a coveted job, these “shining girls” are the luckiest alive – until they begin to fall mysteriously ill.”) I am currently number 12 out of 16 waiting.
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond. (“Even in the most desolate areas of American cities, evictions used to be rare. But today, most poor renting families are spending more than half of their income on housing, and eviction has become ordinary, especially for single mothers. In vivid, intimate prose, Desmond provides a ground-level view of one of the most urgent issues facing America today.”) There isn’t a waiting list for this one anymore, but I’ve suspended my hold until January, when I’ve hopefully made a dent in the books I’ve got on my nightstand at the moment.
So now that you’re shaking your head at my obtuseness, tell me: if you’ve ever wanted to make shake up your reading habits, what are some strategies you’ve used to actually get those books in your hands? Have you read any of these books, or if not, do they interest you? What is your balance of fiction to nonfiction? Let’s chat in the comments!