A few years back, I used to be an avid reader of autobiographies. There was actually a time when I had a target of ensuring that I read at least one autobiography per month. But as I read more and more autobiographies, I started to resent them. A point seems to have come where I’d rather read a work of fiction, rather than reading an autobiography. Even nowadays, in spite of living a rustic life (which gives me plenty of time to read), I still can’t get myself to start reading autobiographies again.
One of the key reasons as to why I have come to dislike autobiographies is in the fact that these books tend to be very highly sanitized. Thus, the picture you get after reading a given person’s autobiography is not the real picture.
Another key reason as to why I have come to dislike autobiographies is in the fact that important details are often omitted from these books. It is, for instance, often very hard to know exactly how the autobiography subject’s ‘big break’ came about. They do tell the truth, but it is often not the whole truth…
So what do I do with the time that I previously spent reading autobiographies? Well, nowadays I spend that time reading works of fiction. I also read books on psychology, philosophy, politics, history and so on. I also read various types of stuff on the Internet, as I aspire to know how the world really works. For instance, yesterday, I was reading about the workings of the Sunbiz website. I was especially interested in understanding how the Sunbiz fictitious name filing process works, as well as how one is supposed to go about obtaining a judgment lien at the www.sunbiz.org website. Frankly, I find this to be much better use of my time than reading autobiographies.
Of course, this is not to say that I never read autobiographies at all nowadays. It is just that I am not as enthusiastic as I was about them. And when I read them, I take the information in them with a huge pinch of salt.