When my best friend, Emily, told me she chooses fiction rather than nonfiction in order to learn and grow, a lightbulb lit up for me. I, personally, am a fan of self-development books but she is NOT. As a writer of both fiction and nonfiction, her point wasn’t lost on me. Stories invite us to step inside a character, to experience growth through the specificity of their circumstances. Brain scientists now confirm that when we read, our synapses fire in a way that mirrors the actual experience of living through the same events in real life. So, in many ways, reading fiction is rehearsal for personal growth.
What’s in a Writerly Play Book Flight?
Because of Emily’s insight, and also because of my love of books ranging from kidlit to scientific tome, I decided to play around with this idea of Writerly Play book flights. What three books–fiction and nonfiction alike–might provide a deep dive into a specific skill or mindset? In the Writerly Play Book Flights, I aim for one nonfiction title, one middle grade title, and one YA or adult work of fiction. I like the mixture of whimsy, life experience, depth and hopeful resilience that this particular mix offers.
How to Enjoy a Writerly Play Book Flight
I realize that not everyone has hours set aside for reading, and if you’re an avid reader, you probably have a towering TBR list. Remember, you can find audio versions of books on Audible or through your library. You might decide three books is too many to take on, and yet, the idea of a book flight enchants you. Might you pair one of these books with something on your TBR to create a more cohesive and deep-dive reading experience? As in all things, there is no one right way to be a reader. Explore. Savor. Do this your way.
Here’s a first Writerly Play book flight to get you started: