On Reading Outside Your Comfort Zone
As readers, we all have our favorite genres. Some of us like mystery, others, Historical Fiction. Sometimes, there is a craving for other genres such as Young Adult, or even Erotica. What some readers don’t do is read outside their genre. This is simply not reading away from the genre they gravitate to each time they pick up or buy a book.
I am one of those people who did not like to read outside his favorite genre until recently. My genre of choice is Historical Fiction, specifically anything set in Medieval or Tudor England. There has always been something about that time period that has called to me. I have many books on my shelves from various authors that write only Historical Fiction, from Phillippa Gregory, to Sarah Bower, and others in between.
This does not mean I was not open to other genres, I simply did not think to look at them as frequently when I went to the library, or to a bookstore. I saw all kinds of genres at my disposal, and sometimes I contemplated picking them up but then would not find anything that really interested me, and I would default back to my go to genre.
Recently, I have made it my goal to read more books outside my “safe zone”, as I have come to call it. I have started to find some great authors such as Tess Gerritsen, Gillian Flynn, and even some good YA authors to boot. One of my new favorite genres to get me used to new and exciting authors is to read Japanese Manga/Graphic novels. I love reading them as palate cleansers in between larger books (and yes, I count them toward my Good Reads challenge) because the artwork is usually really good, and the stories are wonderful too. There are occasionally some bad apples, but you can get those in your chosen genre too, so in the end, there is no excuse to neglect other genres, or authors based on a safe zone that you may have built for yourself as a reader.
It can be difficult to read outside your favorite genre, whatever it may be, but I promise that if you open your mind, you will find some great authors that you would have never expected to find. That is what happened to me, and I am happy to say not only has my reading grown, but I have grown as a reader because I decided to embrace new and exciting authors and the works that they put out into the book world for us all to enjoy.