Chat Between Chapters: reading outside your comfort zone

November 20, 2016 Chat Between Chapters, Featured Posts 10


Do you read outside your comfort zone?

Julie Review Avatar Julie:

To be honest, I rarely do. I read for fun. I read to enjoy my time. Usually, my time driving as that is the only time I get to read. So I read what I like, I read what makes me happy. I read what makes the 1.5 hour commute (on average) in traffic not seem as horrendous on the horrendous day. So most of the time, I read within my comfort zone and books I expect to enjoy. Pre solo parenting the kiddo I used to go to book clubs, and I would read books outside my comfort zone. And sometimes I liked them. Sometimes I learned a bit about myself and the world around me. Sometimes I read a book I never would have picked up otherwise. And sometimes I lamented the time I could have been reading something else. I certainly think reading outside your comfort zone is good for you, but on occasion.  Not all the time. Reading (outside of assigned reading in school-related capacity) should primarily be for your enjoyment and betterment. And typically only we can decide if a book would satisfy that requirement.



I agree with Julie 100%. I read for pleasure. So I pick books in genres I will enjoy. Book clubs have helped me read outside of my comfort zone. And yes, I have even enjoyed some of those books I wouldn’t have picked up on my own. But I also skip those books that I know I won’t enjoy (hard pass on the horror / psychological terror books. HARD PASS.)

I have recently read a couple of graphic novels, which is definitely outside of my comfort zone. And I didn’t hate them. I think the key to reading outside your own comfort zone is to pick something similar. Don’t like Sci Fi? Find a Sci Fi book with some elements that you DO like (romance, for example). Don’t like fantasy? Maybe stay clear of high fantasy and try some urban fantasy.

How about you? Do you read outside of your comfort zone? If so, how do you pick those books?

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10 Responses to “Chat Between Chapters: reading outside your comfort zone”

  1. Livia

    I agree with you both. I’ve never joined a non-virtual book club because I no longer like being told what I must read. I will only read a virtual book club’s pick if the synopsis appeals to me. And I typically read outside my comfort zone if an author whose previous work I have loved is trying something new. In fact, I just finished Will by Kerry Heavens which was so vastly different from her Just Human duet and her Spencer novel. The characters in Will were introduced in the Spencer novel, but normally I don’t seek out books exploring BDSM like Will. It just isn’t a practice I get, but I read it anyway to see what was new with the previous couple.

  2. Cynthia @ Bingeing On Books

    Most of the time, I am the same way. I read for pleasure and I hate reading genres that I know I may not like. The genres that would be outside my comfort zone are nonfiction and the classics. I don’t know what it is, but I very rarely enjoy the classics. They feel like school work to me. But I do try to make myself read nonfiction (when there is a topic that interests me) and I have been trying to read one or two classics a year. It’s tough though. Great discussion topic.
    Cynthia @ Bingeing On Books recently posted…Happy Belated Birthday to my Blog!! (Plus a giveaway!)

    • Lynn

      Reading is not fun when it’s books, you don’t enjoy. I agree with you, Cynthia. At least you are trying topics you might not enjoy. Who knows, maybe you’ll find something you actually like.

  3. Tanya Patrice

    I do read outside my comfort zone from time to time. It helped me discover that I do like historical fiction – not something I would have ever thought I’d be into.

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