Monday Musing: Reading outside your comfort zone…

This is not something I do, really,  because books for me are comfort and I hate tinkering with that. But there is a case to be made for reading outside your comfort zone. It is entirely possible to pick up a book that you wouldn’t normally read and end up loving it. How else do we discover new writers and new perspectives on life, stories and characters. So maybe this is an exercise that we should all indulge in every once in a while.

My comfort zone can be summed up as biography-memoir-history-science-travel with an occasional dose of fantasy, science fiction and the classics. It is a fairly broad area of reading, as you can see, but it is mostly non-fiction. I should read a bit of fiction every now and then, particularly contemporary fiction.

Ever since I started this blog, I have been reading other book blogs, listening to podcasts about books and reading and generally trying to be more aware of all the new books that are being written instead of following my time honoured policy of staying in the past.

And I have found that there is a lot of interesting fiction being written these days. There seem to be several new novels that don’t stick to the old rules and the old genres. So many of them have the sort of characters or plots that I have never come across before and I am intrigued. I have been looking these books up and adding them to my TBR pile. I may not like them, in which case I will abandon them without a qualm, but I do want to try reading a few of them.

The only one of these that I have read so far this year, is The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. It is a romantic story and it reads almost like a rom-com and it is as such, way out of my comfort zone. I only picked it up because the character of the protagonist is so very interesting and I’m glad I did, I enjoyed the book. I didn’t love it, but I liked it enough to enjoy reading it.

So maybe I should try reading a few more contemporary novels.

Musing Mondays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

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14 thoughts on “Monday Musing: Reading outside your comfort zone…

  1. since i have inside knowledge here, i will ask this qiestion: is romcom really out of your comfort zone considering that you do love watching romcom movies? honestly, stephen king is outside your comfort zone. i would say that you should pick up his The Shining. what say?

    • I may like watching rom coms, but I’m not big on reading them. And yes I will pick up The Shining and read it through, if you pick up Sense and Sensibility and do the same. What say?

  2. I’ve also started reading outside my comfort zone since I began blogging about books. I generally read contemporary fiction, as well as a lot of nonfiction–mainly history, biography, and education. I’ve recently been getting into more Young Adult and even some graphic novels that I’ve really enjoyed. It’s one of my favorite benefits of blogging about books–branching out to books and authors I probably would never have picked up otherwise!
    (I also read The Rosie Project and felt the same way–liked it a lot but didn’t love it!)

  3. I think you have it just about right Sapna, while there is an argument for reading outside your comfort zone if you read primarily for comfort then it isn’t a must. Having said that perhaps by drifting to the edge of your comfort zone it will just become a wider area of comfort? Great discussion post that has got me thinking. My comfort zone has changed over the years and I love reading everyone’s blogs and seeing what I can try next.

  4. Great Post! I think expanding in to new genre’s is something many seasoned readers enjoy. Not only is it something we become curious about in our journey of reading, but as readers, and even more specifically book bloggers, I believe we have this understood responsibility to take our claim in the phrase “I’m a reader!” because inevitably every reader will be asked about some book they are completely unfamiliar with. A response of, “oh no I don’t read that genre” seriously questions our readership and expertise. I think it’s great you became curious in a new genre and gave it a shot. Even if you don’t normally like it, you can adventure and experiment with new styles just like the protagonist of your favorite stories have taken risks and seen adventure.

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