Wherein I talk about how I’m a coward!! // Do you often venture outside your reading comfort zone?

HI, MY NAME IS ALINE AND MY TWO MOST FAVOURITE GENRES ARE CONTEMPORARY AND FANTASY.

Goodbye.

So far this year, I’ve picked up 13 fantasy books, and 15 contemporaries (and 1 historical)!! And although I didn’t track the genres I read last year, I can assure you MANY fell between contemporary or fantasy.

Which made me curious!! Because these are my favourite genres, and I… have almost exclusively been reading books solely within my favourite genres! But should I be reading books of other genres???

It’s not for any lack of interest that I don’t pick up other genres, after all; thrillers/mysteries, and sci-fi for example are genres I’ve tried and enjoyed before! (I just have not fallen in love with these genres, or perhaps tried them often enough to have the urge to pick them up more often.)

I know this isn’t a new dilemma. But it’s new *TO ME* okay. ๐Ÿ˜‚ (Sort of. I’m actually *talking* about it this time rather than considering “do I read too much fantasy/contemporary?” lmao)

On the one hand, I believe we should read whatever makes us happy!! Comfort zone genres are… well, um COMFORTABLE. Even if every book holds a different story at an individual level within a genre, the familiarity with the genre just makes for a more easy read? (Maybe that’s just me and my cowardice speaking.) Not to mention that these comfort zone genres are genres I love! I enjoy them! I read for enjoyment! I don’t think there’s anything wrong with sticking with what you know you love.

On the other hand, I also see the value in diversifying the genres we read! Becoming familiar with or at least delving into books of different genres more often will introduce you to different tropes perhaps, and styles of writing that you would not have known you liked if you hadn’t tried it! There are also just so many different types of stories out there, each with their own value, you know?

THIS IS WHY I CAN’T MAKE DECISIONS OR EVER ARGUE ANYTHING EVER.

Not to mention, reading outside of age groups!!

(Middle-Grade, Young-Adult, New-Adult, Adult.) I primarily read YA (as in, I’ve SOLELY read YA for the past several years lmao), and I’ve previously read Middle-Grade books and maybe a couple of Adult books? (Namely Victoria Schwab’s books.) But YA is my RIDE OR DIE OKAY.

I read YA because I enjoy the books that are written in this target age range, but I’m not opposed to reading MG or Adult (or New Adult)! I know MG is often less popular among YA/Adult readers because they’re for younger children but many are very good reads! I want to read more of them! Adult books, as well, interest me (although not so much the romance ones) but I just haven’t read enough of them to form a strong opinion.

I’m a lot less hesitant in picking up something that’s not YA than I am reading a genre I don’t often reach for?

Because regardless of the target age, if it’s in the same genres I like, there’s a good chance the types of narratives I enjoy will be repeated, but at a different maturity level. Like, I would be more comfortable reading an Adult fantasy, than I would be reading, say, historical fiction or horror in YA. Because the key elements that I love about the genre are still there, you know? Whereas genres like historical fiction, which I don’t typically read, are more unfamiliar to me.

However, I am a lot more likely to pick up a book outside my comfort zone if it’s by an author I already know and love! Which makes sense, obviously. Most authors have a certain “niche” or genre that they stick to, and right now I can’t think of any genre jumps, but I very eagerly picked up Victoria Schwab’s adult duology of Vicious and Vengeful after I read and loved her Shades of Magic (also adult) series and Monsters of Verity series (YA)! I’m also currently planning on picking up Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake (MG) seeing how I loved the author’s YA books How to Make a Wish and Girl Made of Stars. (Also Dezzy really loved this book and so I must <3)

Basically: Do I want to read outside my comfort zones regarding genres more often? In theory, for sure! In reality, I am far more likely to continue to stick to my current favourite genres unless a book comes highly recommended or it’s by an author I’ve enjoyed before … which is not *great* (so if you have recs; throw em at me!!) I’m also far more likely to venture outside of YA than I am to read very different genres (or outside of YA AND in an unfamiliar genre)!! Especially with YA authors like V.E Schwab, and soon Leigh Bardugo* releasing books outside of the YA realm.

At the same time, I don’t want to impose any restrictions or requirements for my reading! I want to be able to read what makes me HAPPY.

SO BASICALLY I’M UNDECIDED.

*SCREAMING ABOUT NINTH HOUSE AHHH

What are some books you’ve read that fell outside of your comfort zone that you absolutely adored OR detested? Do you prefer trying to venture in the scary world of the unknown or do you typically stick to your favourites? Recommend me some books outside of fantasy and contemporary that you loved, if you have any! (Especially if they’re diverse; POC, LGBTQ+, disabled, mental illness… ๐Ÿ‘€)

TL;DR I NEED TO BE MORE BRAVE, we should read what we want, genres are a scam (jk jk) and I will never read all the books I want to anyway (facts but irrelevant lmao)!!

Advertisements

19 thoughts on “Wherein I talk about how I’m a coward!! // Do you often venture outside your reading comfort zone?

  1. Ahhh this is such a tough question for me as well! I want to read books that I know I’ll like, which is why I tend to stick to my basic genres (fantasy and contemporary for me as well ๐Ÿ˜‚) but I don’t want to completely write off other genres and never give them a try! That’s why I do like it sometimes when an author I love and trust writes something outside of their normal genre – it gives me a chance to venture out, knowing that there’s already a likelihood of me enjoying it! (*joins you in screaming about Ninth House*)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Right?! It’s so much easier to choose a book you’ll probably like when it’s in your favourite genre haha (YES CONTASY FOREVER ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜) oh yes, exactly! It’s so much easier to read something new when it’s from a familiar author, I love that. (RIGHT?!??! *dies*)

      Like

  2. I mostly read YA fantasy and contemporary too, but I’ve picked up a lot of adult literary fiction that I like — and I feel like adult literary fiction that is very long and sad has, somehow, become another comfort zone.

    I agree that it’s easier to read out of age group than out of genre — I’m trying to foray into adult fiction with fantasy rather than contemporary because I tend to enjoy it more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love fantasy and contemporary so much!! Ooh that’s nice! I’m super interested in picking up some adult lit ahah.

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks so! That’s a good idea, definitely let me know if there are any that become favourites of yours ahah. ๐Ÿ’•

      Like

  3. Okay first of all you NEED to read Ivy Aberdeen. I read it last month and I absolutely ADORED it. So good.

    While I definitely also read *mostly* fantasy and contemporary, there are very few genres that are truly out of my comfort zone. Pure romance (and like,,, erotica) and horror are basically the only genres that are really out of my comfort zone. And adult books a little bit, but less so lately… I’m a bit apprehensive every time I pick one up, but it doesn’t actually stop me from reading them when they interest me?

    The last book I read that was *really* out of my comfort zone (genre wise at least… Godsgrave was fantasy, but pretty majorly out of my comfort zone content wise (as much as I loved it)) was Into the Drowning Deep which is… adult horror. Aka something I would never have picked up if it hadn’t had glowing reviews. But oh my god I loved it so much. If you’re looking to read something very out of your comfort zone I would highly recommend it (even if it mildly terrified me). Also it’s super diverse and has a f/f romance, sooo… that’s a plus.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I JUST FINISHED IT TODAY AND I LOVED IT AHH. My heart ๐Ÿ˜ญโค๏ธ

      Hahaha SAME omg ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜ฌ Erotica and horror are genres Iโ€™m not comfortable with at all ahah. Ooh thatโ€™s nice!! Thatโ€™s a good approach.

      Oh Iโ€™m so glad you enjoyed both Godsgrave and Into the Drowning Deep (ADULT HORROR?! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜‚) THAT GIVES ME HOPE ahaha Iโ€™m happy the hype paid off! I will definitely have to keep it in mind to read………someday?? OOH YES PLEASE ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ˜

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I definitely stick to my favourite genre which is fantasy because I am always so excited when I hear about a new fantasy book because I love all the elements in it so my TBR is full of fantasy I would love to get. And fantasy will probably always be the thing that I read most of because of how much I enjoy it.
    But I do what to venture into new categories more because of have actually found books I really enjoy– like The Book Thief, The Foxhole Court (and sequels) so I keep aiming to try new genres as they become unsuspecting favourites. Also it is good to break up reading fantasy, just so I don’t over do it (if that is possible haha). One of the main thing that encourages me to try new genres is people raving about certain books like the seven husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Illuminae!! But I think I will always go back to my favourite genre because I love it!!
    Great post!! โค

    Liked by 1 person

    • Right? Fantasy is just so good!! That totally makes sense. ๐Ÿ˜Šโค๏ธ
      Ooh yes for sure! There are definitely many books outside of fantasy that are really good if we gave them a shot ahah. Haha that makes sense! ๐Ÿ˜‚ Fantasy can be a very heavy, dense genre. Oh so true! The hype definitely helps to pick up a new book. Yes, for sure! ๐Ÿ˜
      thank you!! ๐Ÿ’ž๐Ÿ’ž

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love this post so much ahh!! You made such great points. Like you, Iโ€™ve been reading almost entirely YA fantasy/contemporary for years (itโ€™s so good!!) but lately Iโ€™ve been *trying* to branch out and read more MG/Adult. Schwab has definitely been a big help with this. I started with Shades Of Magic, and then I did Vicious, and then decided to try out City of Ghosts – which was my first MG in years! It was nice since Schwab was already familiar, ya know? I really ended up enjoying it!!

    ANYWAY I think itโ€™s most important to read what you enjoy, but itโ€™s also not a bad idea to step out of comfort zones every once in a while! Itโ€™s always fun to discover something new. Thanks for sharing this super insightful post๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!! ๐Ÿ’— RIGHT I love fantasy and contemporary so much haha.
      Oh thatโ€™s so true! Iโ€™ve become more interested in reading Adult after her Shades of Magic series, and I loved that one and Vicious too ๐Ÿ˜ Thatโ€™s so true! Itโ€™s so much easier when youโ€™re familiar with the author. City of Ghosts was so good, Iโ€™m so glad you enjoyed it!

      Thatโ€™s so true! Venturing outside the comfort zone can bring some lovely surprises, and thatโ€™s so great. Thank you for reading! ๐Ÿ’ž

      Liked by 1 person

  6. YESSS I ABSOLUTELY AGREE WITH THIS, ALINE!! This post was perfection and I loved it a lot. I, like you read mostly contemporary and fantasy, and am really bad at adventuring out! But for the most part, I do feel like I’m in a comfortable enough position that I’m happy with what I read! As for recs that aren’t contemporary/fantasy, my no. one rec would be …. wait for it … THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO!! (I would be sorry but it’s too good sksksksksk) LISTEN TO THE AUDIOBOOK AND THEN SCREAM WITH ME BECAUSE IT’S THAT GOOD. Also how have you read so much you are a wizard I swear. Okay I love you (and you need to read Evelyn Hugo ASAP hehe) โคโค

    Liked by 1 person

    • YAY Iโ€™M SO GLAD!! Ilyyyy ๐Ÿ’ž๐Ÿ’ž
      Haha right?? Iโ€™m totally okay with sticking with fantasy and contemporary for an undetermined amount of time lmao. AAHHHH I WILL READ IT SOMEDAY I PROMISE ๐Ÿ˜… YOUโ€™LL BE THE FIRST PERSON I TURN TO !!
      SKSKS Iโ€™m not, I honestly donโ€™t know either ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿฝโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ˜‚ Ilyt ๐Ÿ’— (And I willlll ๐Ÿ˜ฉ)

      Like

  7. It’s funny that you’d rather venture out of age groups than genres, because I’m the complete opposite! I find adult books hella intimidating. Even if it’s just Vicious or Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – both are my current reads. They’re technically adult, but very well loved for the YA bookish community, and yet, I am already prepapred to struggle through them. I don’t know why, but I find that the language used in YA sounds much more approachable too, and as I’m not totally fluent in English, I find a bit nerve-wracking to pick up something I’m not even sure I’ll understand totally, hahah.
    As for genres, fantasy & contemporary is mostly what I read too. But I really enjoy sci-fi and romance too (adult romance is probably the only thing I’ll read that has ‘adult’ behind it, lol). I really should branch out more too, but I’m always skeptical that they could be triggering. I’m so familiarized with the contemporary and fantasy books I pick up; I have heard of them before due to the community and I’ve probably read several reviews too. Going to a book “blindly” is not something I could ever do, because trigger warnings are very important to me, so I think this also stops me from exploring different genres, because I don’t know which reviewers to trust.
    Great discussion! ๐ŸŒŸ

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh that is so funny! ๐Ÿ˜… But that totally makes sense! Iโ€™ve never thought about that as English is my first language, but YA is very easy to read and approachable! It can definitely be daunting to then jump to adult. I do hope you enjoy Vicious and the Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo though! ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ’ž
      Yayyy for fantasy and contemporary! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜ And thatโ€™s nice!! Adult romance seems so fun ahah. Oh thatโ€™s so true! Trigger warnings are so important, and most books donโ€™t have them (unfortunately ๐Ÿคง), making reviews are so crucial. I didnโ€™t think about that, thank you so much for bringing that up! ๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’—

      Liked by 1 person

  8. This is such a great post! I’ve been thinking about it lately and…I don’t know? Even though I *try* to read outside of my comfort zone, I often find myself failing because I don’t naturally reach for those books and also because my comfort zone has four genres haha: Contemporary, fantasy, historical fiction and romance. I tried a few thrillers but…didn’t really like them because it’s really hard to catch me off guard, same for horror because I don’t get scared easily so i’m underwhelmed most of the time. Sci-fi is a genre a reach for sometimes and enjoy.

    I used to read solely YA with a little bit of NA, but I’ve branched out to Adult the last couple years, MG is where I still fail but I made it one of my reasing goals this year to try out a few MG novels and see how I like them!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s