Discussion: Stepping Outside Your Bookish Comfort Zone

If you’re anything like me, when you’re choosing which book to read next you probably gravitate towards one or two specific genres or topics. For the past four years (since I’ve started blogging!), the genre that I’ve reached for first has been fantasy.

But lately I’ve been feeling a little…bored. When you primarily read one genre for many years, you’re going to encounter a lot of the same old tropes, storylines, and character archetypes. These days it seems like the more fantasy I read, the fewer exciting, original stories I come across. Even though I know intellectually that there are actually more compelling and unique fantasy stories right now than ever before, I’m just a bit burned out on them.

It’s time for me to stretch my wings a bit and start reading more outside my comfort zone. A few weeks ago I decided to set aside my ARC pile so I could read Rachel Caine’s STILLHOUSE LAKE, a mystery/thriller combo that I’d purchased during a Kindle sale. That book completely knocked me off my feet, took me by surprise, and kept me reading late into the night. Trying something outside of my comfort zone got me excited about reading again!

Not only did I “discover” a new genre that I’m keen to read more of, but I’m also feeling enthusiastic about reading fantasy ARCs that only a few days prior I’d thought ho-hum. I can’t help but wonder: if I read outside my comfort zone more often, would it improve my overall reading? With this in mind, I’m going to try reading 2 or 3 books per month that I’d normally never reach for. Let’s see what happens! I’ll be sure to do a write-up of my experience so I can let y’all know how it turns out.

Am I the only one who typically reads the same kinds of books? Do you ever get tired of your genre or subject of choice? I’d love to know your take on things. What do you do when you want to read outside your comfort zone? Where do you turn to for recommendations in a genre you normally wouldn’t read? And of course, do you have any non-fantasy recommendations for this reader? Hit me up, because I’m in the market for some off-the-wall reads.

What do you think about reading outside of your comfort zone? Let me know in the comments!

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