When You Read Outside Of Your "Comfort Zone"....

by Julia Seales

We all have book comfort zones, whether we want to admit it or not. When someone asks you what you like to read, you want to say, “everything!” because your love of books is so intense that you want to express your love for every novel, series, and anthology. But the truth is, there are some books that you will always gravitate towards.

Even if your book comfort zone changes, though, you have to admit that as a reader, we all go through phases where we only want to read one type of book, sometimes by the same author. That’s not a bad thing – we all have that one kind of story we just love to read. But it does mean that when you read outside of your “book comfort zone,” you experience certain things. The thing is, you should be reading outside your comfort zone. Your love for reading (and writing) can only be improved by engaging with different types of stories, characters, plot lines, and authors.

Think back to the last time your best friend recommended a book that, while in their sphere of book expertise, was far outside yours. You picked it up to give it a read… and you probably experienced the following things:

1. You Do A Ton Of Research Before Buying The Book

The book looks interesting, but it's outside of your comfort zone. You found it on a random shelf at the library, or while browsing in a previously undiscovered portion of the library. After inspecting it, you're intrigued... but you still have to look it up on Goodreads and read all the reviews before fully committing.

2. You Seek Advice From Friends

Just to be sure, you text your friend who loves reading this particular genre. Do they think you'll like the book? What are their thoughts?? (And, of course, you know they'll do the same to you when they finally get around to reading from the long list of books you've recommended).

3. You Read Two Books At Once

You keep a comforting book on your nightstand just in case you need to switch. Be honest: you've definitely gone back and forth between a challenging read and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, which you are re-reading for the millionth time.

4. You Feel Disoriented In The Book's World

When you begin a book outside your comfort zone, you may initially feel disoriented. This terrain is unfamiliar, but you proceed ahead. It's worth it — trust me.

5. While Reading, You Expect The Wrong Tropes

Maybe you crack open a book and immediately expect sorting, love triangles, a chosen one rebelling against a corrupt regime... But then you remember you're reading a totally different genre, and suddenly have no idea what to expect.

6. You Get Really Excited When You Finally Get Into The Book

This book is actually amazing! Where has it been all your life?? You start getting really excited, because maybe this book wasn't one you'd usually pick up, but suddenly it's your EVERYTHING.

7. Afterwards, You Want To Talk About It With Everyone

Doesn't matter if the book came out years ago or yesterday: the minute you finish, you really REALLY want to discuss it. With everyone. Your friends say that you're talking about the book too much, and that maybe you should read something else, but you can't help sharing your passion.

8. You Buy A Ton Of Books In That Genre

You have a new love, and a new comfort zone... so it's time to go book shopping.

Images: Giphy (8), Instagram/wordsandmisadventures (1)