In 250 Words: Fiction or Non-Fiction?

In the 250 Words series, one question is posed to the RU Student Life bloggers, who each provide their own perspective. 

Question 6: Fiction or non-fiction? Why?

Jess: Rock and Roll and Autobiographies

My first thought was, “non-fiction!”, but it would be inaccurate to say that I don’t love fiction. Afterall, I lived and breathed Harry Potter when I was a kid and authored stories like The Adventures of Cat Kid or The Snow Eagle in elementary school. Yet, as an adult, I’ve gravitated towards non-fiction when it comes to reading material and have left fiction for my film preferences.

I like to experience fiction in film because it leaves more room for creative plotlines and cinematography. The choice of soundtrack also adds to the magic. As for books, I’ve mostly been reading autobiographies and articles out of magazines like The Walrus, MacLeans, or The Atlantic over the last few years. I love autobiographies by creative individuals like musicians (Keith Richards’ and Kim Gordon’s are among my favourites). I’m a sucker for their first-hand accounts of the world during the apex of rock and roll, including the political climate, civil unrest, illicit drug use, and hippie romances that went with it. Magazines are great for daily reading, because they’re easy to carry around (or access online) and I can fit them into my busy schedule. I find magazines like the ones I mentioned have well-written and interesting content, so I always take something away from them, like new vocabulary, ways of writing, and perspectives on certain subject matter. In any case, it’s safe to say that I love to read. Fiction, or non-fiction, if it’s good, I’ve probably got my nose in it.

Zahra: Crushing on Non-Fiction

I was never a fan of novels. Who am I kidding, I hated reading because English wasn’t my first language and it made me feel inferior to my classmates #StillDontKnowAnyHarryPotterReferences.

Fast forward 8 years: I fell in love with my Writer’s Craft teacher in grade 12. And as upset as I was to leave my first crush behind to start university, I once more, repeated the love story with my professor for ENG 208 (AKA Non-Fiction). Through a combination of obsessions over reading personal Tumblrs about social activism, travel, and poetry, and mixing all of that with my English teacher’s passion about worldly content, I joined #TeamNonFiction. Studying colonialism, racism, and gender identification through literature became a backbone to my conversations and gave me freedom from the blissful ignorance bubble.

I’m a storyteller, it’s my hobby which luckily turned into a form of income. I would be the last person to want to say that a boy changed my life but a man sure did. It’s funny how infatuations push us to try new things or want to excel in our fields just to get attention from a person that glows in our head when they speak. We end up learning so much about our own selves. I’m taking my third English class with him as I write this and my married professor, non-fiction, and I could not be happier.

*My crush centres on a professional base, not romantic and will never be taken action on, I think.

Janine: This Thing Called Life

I’m not the biggest reader. It wasn’t my favourite throughout middle school, high school, and even today. I don’t read as many books as I should because I prefer listening to or watching stories. But, one thing I do read and consume a lot of are short stories, specifically non-fiction stories. I find myself drawn towards the real life events rather than fantasy or fiction stories. I think a big part of this, besides being a Journalism student, is because I like to learn from other individuals’ real life experiences and be plugged in with current events around the world.

This being said, I do try to keep a balance by reading fiction stories to exercise my imagination to visualize characters or settings myself. One of my favourite fiction books is The Great Gatsby. It had a balance of made up characters and settings but also had some fact based on the time period it took place.

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to read more books, any type of book. Because I’m drawn to non-fiction books and I’m starting to learn more about this thing called life, I’m learning that I enjoy non-fiction advice books. First on my list by one of my favourite Youtube personalities is Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to Be a Grown-Up by Grace Helbig.


Which do you prefer, fiction or non-fiction? Let us know @RUStudentLife or send us an email at or FB message of your own 250 Words!

Read more 250 Words questions and responses here.