When it comes to taking home a book to read I never have a problem selecting a non-fiction title. It seems that there is an abundance of material which falls under the heading of "that which I could always learn more." I have calendar books from years past filled mostly with non-fiction titles.
Often my memory of a personal experience is attached to the book I was reading at the time and my calendar list confirms the recollection. This may be akin to the egg/chicken debate.
Do I experience things in my life differently based on the books I have read - well YES, but at which point does my reading influence my way of thinking, or vice versa? I am presently debating the merits of a publication aimed at youth. I read the occasional article within the magazine. Last week I read a very biased article, one that seemed filled with gross generalizations that I found offensive. My weeks reflection has me, of course, wanting to read more about the topic - how else can I see beyond my own bias on the topic. Yet I am also fighting the impulse to just say the writer was wrong and my first reaction was spot on.
I read and live seeking justice, allowing for the benefit of doubt, working for a better place and time. I know what I know because I trust my instinct, believing in my core values, and have firm resolve. I grew up this way from learning from my family, friends, teachers, and books.