October 24, 2019
Part 6 in a series on fiction. See this post for an introduction to the podcast I’m discussing and an overview.
Or, how much fiction does a man need?
After writing about fiction for the past few weeks, I began to wonder how much fiction I myself in practice read. In my head, it was about 50/50. Luckily I log most book-length reading on my Goodreads (add me!) so it’s reasonably straightforward to count, and it was less than I expected.
Since about the end of 2016, I’ve logged 104 books. Of those:
- 37 are fiction = ~35%
- 67 are nonfiction = ~65%
This reminded me of something Philip Tetlock, in a nonfiction book, wrote about people describing odds:
But as researchers have shown, people who use “50%” or “fifty-fifty” often do not mean it literally. They mean “I’m not sure” or “it’s uncertain”—or more simply “maybe.”
Baruch Fischhoff and Wändi Bruine de Bruin, “Fifty-Fifty = 50%?,” Journal of Behavioural Decision Making 12 (1999): 149–63.