Out of Your Comfort Zone
As an old-school reader, having read tens of thousands of books I have a confession. Since the early 90s, my genre of choice has been Romance and all the subgenres of romance. Historical, rom-com, paranormal, explicit, fade-to-black...you name it, if it was romance, I was reading it. I am going to write a completely unbiased review. I am not going to pick the grammar to death (it would be hilarious if I did, as a friend — who often edits my blog posts so I don't embarrass myself —calls me a grammar vandal). I read for the joy of reading. I enjoy the story. I don't write a review as a favor. My reviews are not a matter of 'I will give you a good review if you give me a good one'. And I am not alone.
Once I got my first Kindle in 2009, it was even more pronounced. Rereading all my long time favorites, Johanna Lindsey, Virginia Henley, Judith Krantz, Susan Johnson, Susan Elizabeth Phillips; finding new-to-me series by authors like Anne Conley and her Pierce Security series, the Love at Stake series by Kerrelyn Sparks...I was in heaven.
After the proliferation of all the FSoG-esque erotica I had to step away from romance. I guess I was suffering from smut-fatigue. I took an extended break from reading, with the exception of re-reading J. D. Robb's In Death series each time a new installment was soon to be released.
Late last year, I decided to pick up my Kindle again, but I didn't want to get through another romance overdose so I decided I would, going forward read very few romance novels, instead focus on genres outside of my comfort zone.
Spreading my literature wings has been amazing. I have read so many wonderful and engrossing books over the last few months. Books I never would have picked up before due to my romance tunnel vision.
I started off with Michael Connelly's Bosch series, have picked up a Tyrus' memoir, Marie Powell's fantasy omnibus, geo-political thrillers by Gary Grossman as well as those he co-wrote with Ed Fuller. I have been reading Hank Phillippi Ryan, James Patterson. I read my first ever cozy mystery by Dionne Lister, a holiday novella with a magical twist by C. Streetlights.
Last night I finished up Tosca Lee's The Line Between. I will be honest, I was resistant because it's listed as Christian mystery, for personal reasons I choose to keep religion out of my reading choices. But I am so happy I took the chance because if I hadn't I would have missed out on one of the most engrossing storylines I have ever read.
I challenge everyone who has gotten into a reading rut or who reads one or two genres exclusively to step out of your reading comfort zone and spend a few months reading genres you normally don't. You won't be disappointed.
Reprinted with permission from eBookBuilders