Tuesday, March 5

When Was the Last Time...

...you forced yourself to expand your reading horizons?

As a teacher, I used to love coercing my students into reading a book that I just KNEW they would love. There were a few eager readers in every class, but for the most part, my kiddos were pretty resistant to independent reading time. Being the book lover I am, I refused to believe that it was possible for someone to actually not like reading - the unbeliever just hadn't been introduced to the right book yet! After they had been coaxed/compelled/bribed to expand their reading horizons a bit... I would venture to say that at least 95% of them became, at the very least, book likers. If you're a teacher or librarian, can you relate?
(awesome image here, text added via Ribbet)
BUT... what about US? You and me, the ones who already love to hunker down with a good book? How often are we willing to branch out and try a new genre? For me, the answer is not often. I'm pretty darn content with my often-dystopian-or-post-apocolyptic-sci-fi-fantasy-with-the-occasional-romance-thrown-in (did you know that was a genre?). And, lucky me, the YA book world has no shortage of novels that fit that description.

BUT... that also means I'm missing out on quite a lot of book loving goodness.

That's why every year I just can't wait for the excellence that is School Library Journal's Battle of the Kids Books. I know I've already talked about it here, but as I've been reading through this year's list of Contenders (have to finish before the 12th!) I've been struck over and over again by the amazing-ness that I would have missed had the BOB not forced me to try (many!) new things. Who would have thought I'd end up rather obsessed with a book about the atom bomb? Or bonobo apes? Or a woman who designs cow enclosures for a living?

So tell me book lovers, when was the last time you read out of your comfort zone? 


  1. My reading mood is like a tide. It changes and I never know what the tide will bring in. 2 ago I was all YA. A year ago I was all Middle Grade. These days I'm into dramatic Adult Fiction. I'm always challenging myself to try different style, genres, and subjects. Otherwise I get bored. I don't know how people who alllways read the same genre do it really.

    GReat topic!

  2. LOVE this topic, Katie!
    I recently tried 'New Adult', but that wasn't really out of my comfort zone, it was kind of like around the corner from what I usually read!
    Last time I was really out of my comfort zone was when I read Rick Riordan's Red Pyramid and loved it!
    My fifth grade teacher was always trying to get me to read out of my comfort zone, but I ONLY wanted to read The Princess Diaries series, lol!
    Katie, you constantly inspire me to pick up books that I wouldn't normally! I'm on my library's waiting list for Wonder, can't wait to read it! :)

  3. @Juju - That is seriously fantastic - I am striving to become more like you: a well-rounded reader :)

    @Katie - I totally remember when you read Red Pyramid! And I loved the Princess Diaries too :) Seriously, your comment completely made my day. I hope you love Wonder!

  4. I have watched how my reading tastes have changed over time, but there are still some genres that don't interest me much at all (hello fantasy!), and even though it might be good to read those genres from time to time, I also think that I want to enjoy what I am reading. But I do laugh - you are right - we are always encouraging kids to try new genres.


Reading your comments is one of my favorite parts of Book Love! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and suggestions.

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