Leaving Our Comfort Zones


As readers, we all know what we like in terms of genres, subgenres, categories, and so on. Some of us only read young adult, but we read all kinds of YA, such as fantasy, dystopia, sci-fic, contemporary, etc. Some of us only read various kinds of adult fiction. Some may read more new adult fiction than anything else now that this genre has bloomed brighter. Or, some even read just a select few genres under the young adult and adult category. Everyone has different tastes and different types of stories that they thrive for. As we grow up and continue reading we better understand what it is we enjoy and look for in the written word.

However, has anyone ever felt like challenging their preferences? Ever, at any time, wanting to journey outside their set bubble of fiction to try something that they usually wouldn't find themselves reading?

I think this is something I've found myself wanting to do recently. Maybe, within the last year. Generally, I'll read most kinds of young adult, but when it comes to adult fiction I typically stay within the categories of romance. As a teenager, When I wasn't going to the small town library to check books out at the even smaller young adult section, I'd be reading my mom's collection of romance novels from the overflowing bookshelves in the family room. I've gone through various phases of reading but my choices have always revolved around romance of some sort. Even when I was obsessively reading Nancy Drew under the pleased influence of my mom (she grew up reading those as well), I was just as into the relationship of Nancy and Ned (maybe more) as I was into the mysteries being solved. I was also all about the boy drama of Francine Pascal's Sweet Valley Twins. And while I still enjoy the way authors write great relationships successfully, or not, I find myself wanting to branch out more.

I think I've begun to sort of branch out already, having read Gone Girl, the first for me from the thriller genre. Even with these feelings, I definitely haven't grown tired of what I usually read, what I'm used to. I believe that maybe I just want to bring more variety and diversity to my list of reads. I think this feeling can also be attributed to me being able to find so many different things to read now with the help of sites like goodreads, as well other book blogs now. It's a whole new world of literature being brought before my attention, where as before I was limited to two sources. It seems that the online community is constantly opening my eyes to more.

Do you ever find yourself getting the urge to challenge your reading tastes? For similar or different reasons? Or are you someone with certainty in the genres you've always read?