Reading nonfiction from abroad

Affecting Factors and Challenges for Readers

Fiction and Nonfiction are two basic genres for any literary work in the world. Any book or novel gets categorized into one of these at first place and then the sub genres are assigned. Reading can be fun with fiction as they create imaginary world around you, but that happens less while reading nonfiction. Moreover, if you are reading any nonfiction from abroad then it does not make any sense to just read and get over it without having done deep investigation and understanding. As nonfiction work is generally based on facts and information, the geographical distance, places, surrounding environment, culture and history of people and countries plays an important role while reading them. And, here comes the struggle, reading nonfiction from abroad. When you find yourself reading a book, a nonfiction from another country, you are rarely aware of the

  • Cities, districts, roads and other places in that country
  • Surrounding environment like current and past happenings, media, system and general rules of the country
  • Culture and lifestyle the people leave in
  • Most importantly, the background and history of everything belonging to that country

Alike above mentioned factors, there come many which affect the reading in various ways. Imagine a book, nonfiction biographical where an author has to mention the events happened in real and present the true story in front of the readers. Surely, he has to mention the places, scenery, people and events that are real, meaning as per its originality. No doubt he has to mention the names of places, people and happenings as it is/was. He has to mention the real past and original history of any happening. Now, when you pick up a book like that, you will surely feel disconnected at certain paragraphs as you lack the basic information to understand the scene. This is where a reader has to adjust. It is a sort of challenge you will face as a reader.

Becoming A Smart Reader

Every reader generally chooses a book that fascinates him at first place. The short description helps readers to decide whether they should go for the book or not. An average reader has the aim to finish the book as soon as possible. For him, it’s just a part of his hobby or interest. He rarely cares when he does not relate or connect o book. He does not care to learn or grasp the good served in the book. What he cares about is just reading. He just skips the lines or manipulates them as per his understanding when he comes across something unknown or unrelated. Reading without understanding is just a waste of time.

In opposite to that, a smart reader who also chooses a book that fascinates him, also try to investigate more. He looks for reader reviews and book’s overall rating. He grabs information about the author before he actually starts reading. While reading, he just makes sure that he understands everything that author wants to tell. He tries to understand the characters, feels their feelings and put himself in that scenarios mentioned. He just gets involved with the book totally till he finishes it off. A smart reader will look for references and do more investigation, seek the knowledge about things that are new to him which he found in the book. He will not skip a single line without getting its meaning and purpose. If he does not understand or unaware of the fact then he will learn, collect the information but will stay connected till the end. So, don’t become a reader, instead become a smart reader.

Helping Tools and Solutions

  • Make sure you collect the information about the book and author at first place.
  • Look for reviews and rating of the book.
  • Read about the author and get to know him well, reading his background and history.
  • Try to figure out the where the story has happened, what’s the plot and who are the characters.
  • Learn about that specific country; get to know the history and culture of that country.
  • Try to figure out the current and past happenings, grab the information about related events.
  • Look for the information about characters involved.

With the evolution of technology, it has become very easy to grab the information about anything. You can use internet to collect all the needed information. You may want to have a dictionary, if you came across unknown words or phrases to look for their meaning for deep understanding. You can also interact with readers local to that country to widen your knowledge.

Being an average Indian reader, I sometime struggle reading the nonfiction from abroad but I do not give up. I use the resources and try to learn, try to understand.

  1. Have you ever read any nonfiction from abroad?
  2. Which one you have read?
  3. Did you struggle connecting with the book?
  4. What factors affected your reading?
  5. How did you overcome them?

Must share your thoughts and experience via comments. I would love to hear from you.

Pratik Akkawar

I am occasionally a poet, blogger and an amateur writer, trying to put my thoughts into words and sometimes words into poems.

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