Sometimes I get into conversations with teen cousins telling them I read books in my spare time. But I don't like reading "stories" with plots, but books about businessmen, investing, computer programming, self help etc.

I'm not sure what the right word is to delineate between these two formats. When these cousins tell me "you should read XYZ" I say "I don't like fiction" then their responses are "but it's not fiction, it's a true story" but what I mean is I don't like reading about cover-to-cover books with plots, characters and story arcs (for those of you that care, I have a reading disability similar to autism). Isn't there a word that explicitly encompasses all types of stories, true or otherwise?

The only word I can think of is "narrative" but that still seems a bit generic.

  • 1
    story books
    – Jim
    Commented Nov 11, 2015 at 19:17
  • Any way to emphasize the part that it includes true stories? I know in theory it encompasses both but people do interpret that statement differently. Commented Nov 11, 2015 at 19:18
  • Just say, “I don’t read story books- true or otherwise”
    – Jim
    Commented Nov 11, 2015 at 19:29
  • I went back and edited my question slightly - of course I can go back and clarify, but I thought there might be an elegant term for categorizing the entire format. Commented Nov 11, 2015 at 21:03

1 Answer 1


I think narrative, as you suggested, is an appropriate term to explain what you don't like reading. It suggests fictional or true stories but would not be used to refer to investments or computer science books that you prefer:

  • a narrated account; a story.

  • an account, report, or story, as of events, experiences, etc

The Free Dictionary

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