HI, MY NAME IS ALINE AND MY TWO MOST FAVOURITE GENRES ARE CONTEMPORARY AND FANTASY.
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. 😂 (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… 👀)
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)!!