Sunday, May 20, 2007

Allocentric

"Allocentric" is a word I met the other day while reading a textbook meaning "other-centered." Apparently human development (from immature to mature) leads us from egocentric to allocentric.

One of my earliest memories of realizing that there are other people out there comes from middle school. I was in the library, choosing a new book to read (I was a real bookworm!), and the librarian recommended a nonfiction book--I don't remember what, a biography or something. I rejected it, thinking, "who would want to read nonfiction for fun??"

The librarian told me that some students preferred nonfiction to read.

I was absolutely shocked! I have always preferred novels to nonfiction--I even preferred Sweet Valley High to "Seventeen"--and it had honestly never occured to me that people would purposely choose nonfiction for leisure reading. I thought adults forced themselves to read the newspaper because it was some kind of obligation and that biographies were for Social Studies book reports.

I still prefer fiction, and I'll never voluntarily read nonfiction when I could be reading something else. But I get it--other people might like nonfiction. It still makes me think of how little I understand my human peers...

1 comment:

Brooke said...

A late comment, I know, but I just wanted to tell you that we completely agree in out reading tastes. Although I would say that you are even more open than I; I well you remember you forcing me to read non-genre fiction (A Prayer to Owen Meany) in order to let me borrow some genre fiction (Sabriel). I will mention that "King Leopold's Ghost" is an excellent non-fiction about Belgium and the Congo. Both interesting and tragic.