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  • More people are flicking through facts over fiction
  • More people are flicking through facts over fiction
    Sebastian.gone.archi, Creative Commons (2013) ©

Why we gave up novels for nonfiction

More people are reading nonfiction books than ever before, but they’re being savvier about who they choose to read and what they read about. How are hobby guides, self-help books and biographies changing to fit with contemporary readers’ interests? And what’s drawing people away from fiction?

Location North America / Northern Europe

In 2016, When Breath Becomes Air, the posthumous memoir of neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi, garnered critical praise and topped best-seller lists all over the world. In fact, the only book that sold better on Amazon.com that year was Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. [1] Its success is representative of the growing appetite for nonfiction, with data from Nielsen BookScan revealing that adult nonfiction made the biggest unit gains among the major print categories in the US last year. [2]

While Americans may not be reading that many novels, they are reading more ...



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