Wandering with my eyes and heart open, searching for pieces to add to my own personal big picture.

Tag: how to read nonfiction like a professor

This Book Makes Reading Nonfiction More Gratifying

Reading nonfiction quote on book cover background.

“Let’s suppose that the worst thing you can do when reading nonfiction is to believe everything you read is true. What’s the second worst? Not believing any of it.”

How to Read Nonfiction Like a Professor

I have always enjoyed reading nonfiction.

From histories and biographies to sociology and philosophy, but this book made reading nonfiction even better. In fact, it could very easily be on my required reading list when I take over the world. Maybe because it’s non-fiction, but I’m finding it difficult to pull a single quote from this book to illustrate any simple idea. It’s all connected and the book in general illuminated something big for me. I think I’ll attempt to sum that up, but I highly recommend reading it. It was not a complicated read and really made me feel better about the world and our current “information” age instead of worse.

I’m not sure what I love most, classic fiction or non-fiction. I love classic literature. I get so much peace from reading about other worlds, real and imagined. It’s not only an escape into another time but a way to understand people, how they might think, how the world could be better, how we could behave or maybe how we should behave, if things were different. The older books, the ones that have survived the test of time, show me how people used to live, what they thought of the world they lived in or imagined. Adventures are my favorite.

Non-fiction, though, intrigues me. I can learn so much. Philosophy and history are my favorites, and that’s what you would think a book about reading non-fiction would focus on. The idea of newspapers, magazines, blogs, and social media being listed as “non-fiction” never even occurred to me. This book not only gave me some inspiration and direction about reading those, but it put a new (for me) spin on biography and history, too.

I had a few big take-aways from this book. I made the following table to illustrate the ideas.

Reporting: newspapers (some social media): a rough draft of history and events: immediate
Arguing: magazines: add context and current thought: more time needed
Perspective: books:
begin to get closer to truth as we add more information over time

Inside each of these are even more divisions. There is spin, slant, bias, whatever you want to call it, in everything we read. Not everything we read is true. Not everything we see is useful. We have to use some discernment when we read, not only with the daily information that we come across in the news media, but magazines and published books too.

That starts with knowing our own bias (yes, you have them, we all do) and those of the author of what you’re reading. It’s not easy, but to be a citizen of a self-governing nation, it’s imperative that we think for ourselves. This book can help.

I underlined and noted so much in this book. I went back through, like I always do, and put markers on pages I thought I’d pull quotes from and write about here. I began with the graphic I made for this post, which led me to another quote, yet I can’t pull it apart. I wish I could, but it seems like I’m only rewriting what he said but in less coherent ways.

Like I said at the beginning of this post, if I ruled the world, this may be required reading. It’s not hard to read, isn’t depressing, and is extremely enlightening about how we can be wiser about how we use information in our daily lives. Want to be a more informed person? Want to do your part to make the world a better place? It would be a great start to read this book.


This was the first book I started a new blog series on! If you’d like to read my original post, go read “New Read: “How to Read Nonfiction Like a Professor”

If you’d like to read the book or more from the author, go check out his blog at Thomas C. Foster.

And, as always, scoot on over to What’s An Autobibliography? to sign up for my monthly What in the World is She Reading newsletter. Every time I finish a book, I close it and tap out a paragraph of whatever comes to mind, tie them all together at the end of the month and send it to you, my curious readers, as an exclusive for those that opt in by signing up for it. You won’t regret it!

New Read: “How to Read Nonfiction Like a Professor”

Picture of the new read on a pile of desert firewood.

Welcome to the first post in a new series of posts on my blog: New Read!

Each time I start a new book, I’ll create a new post. It will serve a couple of purposes. The first will be to note when I start a new book and alert YOU to look forward to future quotes and thoughts about the content. Maybe you’ll want to get it and read along with me. Message me if you do!

The second is that it’s a great chance to share pictures of my desert with you. All the photos are of my actual book on my actual property. I hope you like dirt and rocks a much as I do!

My monthly newsletter highlights my immediate after-thoughts about the books I read the previous month. You can sign up for that awesome email at the link on the right or by hopping over to my Autobibliography page. Once you opt-in, you’re receive one email a month only available to my email followers…so exclusive! And, yes, I promise never to sell my email list, or bombard your inbox with spam.

On to the New Book post!

“How to Read Nonfiction Like a Professor” by Thomas C. Foster is not only about reading books. It’s about reading all nonfiction, including blogs and newspapers, even social media posts. I bet there’s a ton of useful information here, ways to decipher what’s real and what’s not, along with smarter ways to interpret all the incoming information, instead of relying Facebook’s so-called “Fact Checking” system.

I’m not sure where I got the idea to read it, probably from another blog post. I have a new system to remember where I got the book recommendation and I’ve been implementing it for a month now. In the future, I’d like to be able to link back to my source of inspiration to thank them.

I’m only a few pages into this book right now. I ran out of time to read this morning…stupid housework to do. It’s already interesting though and I can’t wait to read more.


I wrote a summary of what I thought most helpful in this book. You can read it at This Book Makes Reading Nonfiction More Gratifying.

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