When we read something it influences us. The degree of influence will depend on how susceptible (curious, open) we are to a particular viewpoint, mental image, or situation, and how well the piece is written.
Everyone has certain books, whether fiction or nonfiction, that have stayed in their mind. But memorable reads don’t just “stay in our mind.” We incorporate the influence of what we’ve read into who we are and what we write.
In my upcoming guide for memoir writing there will be an Acknowledgements page in which I list articles and books I quote directly (and in some cases I’ll need to get permission first to do that quoting). But I am struck by the importance of the Suggested Reading page I’ll also include.
Rather than just throw together a list of publications that appear to relate to my topic, I’ll show the reader the influences on my philosophy and viewpoint. The reader will have the option, should they choose, to click a link and read material that expands on a specific assertion I’ve made.
The goal is to give the reader additional value, rather than slip in random information just to give my nonfiction book a more authoritative appearance.
Image by pippalou via morgueFile