Hi, I’m Leeann and I’ll be contributing a few posts to keep you motivated through this year’s reading challenge. You can blame me for this week’s category of choice: A book from a genre you wouldn’t normally read from. I suggested it because even though we are regular readers, or aspiring to be regular readers, it’s easy to get stuck reading the same genres. It’s comfortable, you know what to expect, and when most of us have so little free time, why spend it on genres we don’t normally read and aren’t sure if we’d like?
There’s nothing wrong with reading for pleasure and comfort, and you still reap the many benefits of reading if you choose to stick to what you like. I’m not suggesting you should put down whatever guilty pleasure you’re into right now, but think of this category as a way to challenge yourself.
You’ve probably heard some form of this advice since you were a kid. 1 & 2 So why should we challenge ourselves as adult readers? (Isn’t it enough that we’re still reading books at all?) Reading outside of your favoured genres pushes you outside of your comfort zone. Choosing something new will expose you to different authors, different styles of writing and use of language or vocabulary. Stepping outside of our own echo chambers expands our world view and exposes us to opinions and thoughts that we might not have otherwise encountered. Author Mike Duran has a great list on the benefits of reading outside your genre if you still need convincing. If you can push out of your comfort zone and potentially broaden your horizons while chilling on the couch, why wouldn’t you give it a shot?
Picking a book from this category can be as easy as choosing a genre you normally avoid, and searching for recommendations in that genre, or asking a friend who reads in that area ( a chance to double up on the recommended book category!). Don’t know what genre to pick, or are not specifically avoiding anything? Wiki has a list of literary genres pick one that you don’t think you’ve ever read from and go from there. You may stumble on a new favourite.
My choice for this category is Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson. It’s sitting directly at the crossroads of several paths I rarely choose: serious sci-fi, speculative fiction, techno-thriller, and World War II. It’s heavy on geek cred and page count, weighing in at 1139! I intend to spend the next year expanding my horizons by choosing more complex and difficult books than I’d normally indulge in, and camping outside of my comfort zone. I hope you’ll find at least one book this year that asks the same of you.
Find your anti-genre book yet? Comment below with your choice or join the Facebook group and let us know!