Do you have any friends who read fiction?

Camy here! Today I was talking to a friend and we were discussing Asian American Christians and their reading habits.

Here’s the thing: Out of all the Asian American Christians I know, hardly ANY of them read fiction. Most read nonfiction, if they read anything.

But out of the non-Asian Christians I know, many of them read fiction.

Granted, I think my non-Asian Christian pool is skewed because most of those non-Asian Christians are writers. 😛

I know that the above probably sounds a little racist but I promise I’m not being racist. It brings up an interesting question. How many of your Christian friends read fiction? Nonfiction? Hardly anything at all?

Here is an embarrassment I am now confessing. My husband, Captain Caffeine, has read exactly ONE BOOK in the entire 15 years I’ve known him. This includes fiction and nonfiction books–he has read exactly ONE BOOK.

I should be flattered because that one book was my debut novel, Sushi for One. But the only reason he read it is because he found out (while I was doing revisions from my editor) that I’d written “bat a hundred” rather than “bat a thousand.” So he took it upon himself to read my entire book not because he was interested or curious in my debut novel, but to make sure my sports analogies were correct.


Anyway, the point is that even though he is married to a novelist, my husband has read only one book in 15 years.

So how about your friends? Do you know many fiction readers? Are my friends all just strange to not recognize the genius of fiction?

Camy Tang writes romance with a kick of wasabi. Out now is the first book in her new series, Protection for Hire, which is a cross between Stephanie Plum and The Joy Luck Club. She is a staff worker for her church youth group, and leads one of the worship teams for Sunday service. On her blog, she ponders frivolous things like knitting, running, dogs, and Asiana. Visit her website to sign up for her quarterly newsletter.


About Camy Tang/Camille Elliot

Camy writes romantic suspense as Camy Tang and Regency romance as USA Today bestselling author Camille Elliot. She is a staff worker for her church youth group and leads one of the Sunday worship teams. Visit her websites at and to read free short stories and subscribe to her quarterly newsletter.
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11 Responses to Do you have any friends who read fiction?

  1. jelowder says:

    I know a pastor who reads a lot but only non-fiction. Needless to say, I didn’t even bother asking him if he’d want a comp of my fiction book.

    Per the marriage anomaly. My wife loves Jane Austen. I write fantasy. I suppose opposites attract? But like most couples, we’ve learned to compromise. She’s read my book (and liked it!) and once a year I watch “Pride and Prejudice” with her. Although I do like to bug her throughout by asking, “So is THIS the battle scene?”


  2. My husband (a pastor) reads mostly non-fiction. In January, we started a fast… he chose to fast from watching movies (his favorite past-time besides fishing), so he started reading books. I WAS SHOCKED!! He was reading some sci-fi that he used to read before I ever met him (I didn’t even know he knew there were sci-fi books!!). rofl. I read A LOT! Unfortunately, I’m not a writer… wish I was, but not my gift. So I read. and read. and read. Mostly fiction, but non-fiction too. Most of my friends read also. And yes, they read mostly fiction as well.


  3. PatriciaW says:

    I have reading friends and non-reading friends. You’re observations are dead-on for the African American Christian community too. Many of my AA Christian friends don’t read fiction, at least not many of those who aren’t also writers. Hubby doesn’t read fiction. The only fiction I’ve seen him read in 20 years was Tosca Lee’s Demon, because I raved about it so (and then he raved about it too.)


  4. Mo says:

    I’m a Christian and I read both fiction and non fiction books. Most of my Christian friends fall into the same category as me but there are a few who can’t be bothered to read and those with a preference for non fiction.

    I guess living and commuting in the UK, more importantly London lends itself to reading.


  5. Carol Hall says:

    I have a group of Asian American Christian female friends who play mah jong about once a month and exchange Christian fiction and other novels on these nights. Most of us are second or third generation Asian Americans who read in English for fun. We love your books!


  6. jelowder, what a great compromise! LOL sounds like something my husband would say when we’re watching a BBC miniseries. 🙂

    Ladette, so it’s possible to get a person who doesn’t read fiction to read fiction! That gives me hope. Except my hubby doesn’t read PERIOD, even nonfiction. I wonder if that makes a difference?

    Patricia, that’s a really interesting thing to know about the African American Christian community, too!

    Mo, I can totally see how a commute would encourage people to read more!

    Carol, thanks so much! You’re the only person I know who has Asian American Christian friends who read fiction! I only have maybe 2 AA Christian friends who read fiction. The rest all read only nonfiction.


  7. Wendy says:

    I have a lot of Christian friends (only a few, maybe 5% are Asian-Americans) who read Christian fiction. But then again, I’m a missionary living in Central America and we don’t get TV here in English. In fact, where we live, we are out of signal range of TV signal of any language. So we read a lot. THANK YOU for giving us something that’s not only on track from a Christian perspective, and free of foul language or raunchy sexual content, but also INTERESTING! I used to really like TV shows like Bones or NCIS (back when we lived in the states) because they were interesting without excessive garbage thrown in. Christian fiction (especially yours) is an incredibly satisfying substitute! Just have to plug another of my favorite authors here – Lorena McCourtney. She’s pretty good, too…although not quite enough wasabi… 😉


  8. Wendy that’s a fascinating perspective! I think since I live in the US I take for granted the tons of media avenues and availability of storytelling all over the place. 🙂 I have one of Lorena McCourtney’s books but haven’t read her yet! I’ll have to shift her up on my TBR pile! 🙂


  9. Maylin says:

    I’m an AA Christian and love Christian fiction – all kinds, but especially the suspense kind like yours. I recently discovered you through my local public library which carries your Sushi line and Stalker in the Shadows book. Our church has a huge selection of Christian fiction. I’ll have to donate some of your books to their collection : )


  10. 3rdchopstick says:

    Anecdotally, most Christians I know read Christian non-fiction books usually. I have to admit I was kinda the same until I stumbled across the Sushi series. It’s not that I don’t read – I do read non-Christian fiction when it’s accessible and punchy and gets my interest, but often I don’t seem to find that right fiction book when it’s Christian fiction. Sushi for One and the others were deliciously funny, easy to access and had Asians as main characters (I’m Asian), with things that I just understood from that point of view. For non-Christian fiction I’ve enjoyed books by Tess Gerritsen and JIm Butcher for style and interest, if not always for content.


  11. Maylin, I’m so glad you enjoy my books! I’m also so happy your library carries them. Please tell them thank you from me next tim you go in! 🙂

    3rdchopstick, that’s very interesting. I read both Christian and non-Christian fiction, but there are some Christian fiction novels that I really don’t relate to (for some reason I don’t get into the Western historical romances very much). I LOVE Jim Butcher, too! I read the first Rizzoli and Isles book but didn’t much care for it, although I love the TV series.


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