When I talk about getting out of your comfort zone, I mean in reading – duh! I know what you are probably thinking – “but I love my high fantasy novels or my soppy historical romances”. There’s nothing wrong about that and, once you get out of your comfort zone, you can always come back to your safe place – under the blankets with a mug of hot tea in your mitten-covered hands and that cherished book you read twelve times already. But something amazing can also happen. Wanna guess what it is? Yup, you might NEVER WANT TO RETURN to your boring one-genre life. There is a whole world out there filled with amazing books waiting to be adopted. Why restrict yourself?
For example, I was never much into sci-fi, but I have recently started to read more and more books in that genre. Have I found one that truly swept me of my feet? Well, sadly, not yet… Unless we consider The Hunger Games a sci-fi novel – then yes. But that doesn’t mean that I still don’t enjoy those books. They have always something new to teach me and I never regret having read them. On second thoughts, I don’t think this example really helped me prove my point… Let’s try another genre: romance. I was always more into fantasy, YA novels and all that, but then I found The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks and my world changed, literally – pun not intended. LOVED IT is not enough to express my feelings for that book, not to mention the movie (Ryan Gosling has nothing to do with these emotions *cough*). Now, back to serious business – with that book I lost all fear of romances. I finally discovered that they aren’t all soppy and lame. In fact, they can have a lot to offer! I recently read Me Before You by Jojo Moyes – yes, another romance – and it was amazing, epic, heart-wrecking and absolutely inspiring. I don’t want to start babbling about how much this book meant to me so, if you want to know more about it, check out my review. The thing is, it was much more than a love story and romances can have so many other interesting messages buried beneath the main plot. The same happens with other genres, and that is why all books are worth reading.
So this is my proposition: go to the bookstore, but avoid that aisle you always hide yourself in. Ok, you can walk by it just to apologise to the books. Tell them: “I love you. I always did and I forever will, but I think that we should give each other some time. Please, don’t cry. It isn’t you, it’s me. I’ve been stuck in this musty corridor for too long and I need to try new things. No, I’m not leaving you, and I’ll never forget you. There will always be one of you resting on my bedside table, but there is a whole library waiting for me. I have to spread my wings and fly. Goodbye my book, goodbye my friend.”
Well, I guess I got carried away. I hope that it didn’t sound too much like a cliché love story. If it did, at least I hope you got my point. So, I DARE YOU to pick that book you never thought you would. Yes, it might confirm your suspicious and you might hate it, but nothing ventured nothing gained. Please, promise me a bad experience won’t stop you from trying again. If the first book doesn’t work, try another genre you’re still not comfortable with. I’m sure that there will be a book that will surprise you. And you know what’s the best thing about stepping out of your comfort zone? You will probably have very low expectations so a good, unexpected book will have a much greater impact on you.
I hope you take this advice into consideration. Constantly reading the same kind of books can only teach you so much. New, different books will put you face to face with unknown situations and there is always so much you can learn from them.
There is always a valuable lesson in any book so take a deep breath and be fearless. If you are unsure of which book to pick, stand in front of a bookshelf, close your eyes and let your subconscious take the pick.
Well, I would love to know about your experiences! Tell me about how it was like to step out of your comfort zone. Did you like it or don’t you ever want to do it again – please don’t say that :p
Watch your step, or you may fall down the reading hole!