Fiction is escapism. We watch movies and read works of fiction to relieve boredom, or to experience something happier or sadder than our own experience. We allow ourselves to get lost in fantasies or borderline realities, if only for a little while.
Nonfiction is escapism. We insulate ourselves with knowledge and factoids. We long to be part of something bigger than ourselves. And, let’s face it: it’s hard to pity ourselves for our first world problems when we discover how much worse off others in the world (or in history) actually are (or were).