Monday, August 30, 2010
Musing Mondays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.
This week, MizB asks:
"How often do you actually put into practice what you learn from reading nonfiction books (if you read nonfiction, that is)?"
Yes and no in a round about kind of way. Most of the non-fiction that I read is related to health and fitness. I get out these books specifically to study and learn the stretches within or for nutrition tips. However, I am mostly putting what I learn from non-fiction into practice when I acquire them with the intent to apply the given knowledge in my own life.
I also enjoy pop culture non-fiction but I don't think that it has as much impact on my daily practices. For example, as much as I was moved by the passion of the Sea Shepherds when I read The Whale Warriors by Peter Heller I have not stopped eating fish. (Just for the record I would never eat whale but I would hope that was considered a given.) I do not consider Mark Thomas' Belching Out the Devil: Global Adventures with Coca-Cola to be responsible for my giving up drinking all soft drink (fizzy, soda, pop, whatever people are inclined to call it in your neck of the woods) but it did come to mind when I made my decision. That decision was more financially and health motivated. (Nearly three months soft drink free now!). I had already long gone off fast food by the time I picked up Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser.
I don't think that every piece of non-fiction that a person reads needs to be personally useful or applicable to their life in some way. It can be just as rewarding to read something because you find the knowledge intellectually enriching or just plain fun or maybe you hope that it will pop up during a game of trivia sometime and you can impress everyone with your vast mental treasure trove of otherwise useless knowledge. That said, I probably should be trying to apply more of what I learn from the non-fiction. I would probably be a healthier and more environmentally friendly person if I did.