Lost in nonfiction…and loving it

There are some who never venture past the alphabetized-by-author’s-last-name fiction section of our library. These people never ascend the stairs, say hello to the research librarian, or wander the stacks with their lengthy strings of numbers.

181.45 .F423sha c.2
The Shambhala guide to yoga

CRAFTS 746.432 .D794 eth 2007
Ethnic knitting discovery : the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, and the Andes

741 Knight
Animal drawing : anatomy and action for artists

306.81 .G464 com 2010
Committed : a skeptic makes peace with marriage

641.65655 .M182 this
This can’t be tofu! : 75 recipes to cook something you never thought you would–and love every bite

I try not to go into the nonfiction section with any specific agenda but on my most recent nonfiction adventure, I was looking for the tofu cookbook above. (Is there any way to get my children to eat tofu? Answer from cookbook: hide it in a smoothie.) Once that book was pulled off the shelf and safely in my pile, I start to explore.

I like to run my finger along a row of books with eyes closed then stop, and take a look at what I’ve found. Usually one book leads my brain to make another connection, another subject that once flitted across my brain as I drove children from school to activity to home. Sometimes the topic took root while I listened to a story on NPR, or it was mentioned by a kiddo in a carpool, or suggested by an image I’ve seen. Sometimes it plants a seed for a story I’d like to tell. Sometimes it’s just a random web of one thing leading to another until I find myself sitting on the floor, back against the shelves, reading a chapter of some topic I never knew existed. The best part about being lost in nonfiction is that curiosity and lifetime learning is part of my job as a writer. 

Shhh…I’m working.

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