11 Reasons You Should Try Reading A New Genre

Ad failed to load

We all have our comfort reads. Some people like their armchair mysteries, or their historical fiction time travel romances. Some people insist that they only read "literary" fiction, which generally means that the story is about an unhappy middle aged English professor of some kind. I, for one, will read just about anything with a map on the inside cover or anything that involves a robot learning how to love. And there's nothing wrong with having a favorite genre, just like there's nothing wrong with having a favorite food or a favorite color. But if you're eating pork buns for every meal while dressed from head to toe in fuchsia... then it's time to maybe try something new. Here are a few reasons why you should try reading a new genre of book.

I mean, sure, if you like light-hearted show biz memoirs, you don't necessarily have to go straight from Tina Fey's Bossypants to Frank Herbert's Dune. I'm not saying that you have to muscle your way through The Scarlet Letter and pretend to like it. But if you take even the tiniest step outside of your comfort zone, you might find that you can like more than one genre at once. Here's why you should embark on a new reading adventure:

Ad failed to load

1You’re missing out on great books

GIPHY

I won't promise that you're going to love every sci-fi novel ever written, but I will promise that there is at least one sci-fi novel out there that you will love, even if you find aliens and silver jumpsuits vaguely silly. The same goes for romance, thrillers, nonfiction, poetry, YA dystopia, and every other genre under the sun. A great book is a great book, no matter where it's shelved. Don't miss out on amazing reads just because of the sticker on a book's spine.

2You’ll be smarter

GIPHY

It's no secret that reading makes you smarter (and more empathetic, and probably handsomer). But, as much as I love to re-read my favorite books until they fall apart in my hands, reading the same story over and over again probably isn't going to vastly expand your intelligence. Pick up a work of historical nonfiction, or a graphic novel memoir, or a political satire, and give your brain some new material to chew on.

3You’ll be less judgmental

GIPHY

Be honest: in your secret judgmental heart, there's at least one genre that you think is just a little bit... stupid. Or pretentious. Or pointless, or overdone, or boring, or too sad/scary/difficult. Well, pick up a book from that genre and see if you can't fight that judgment with some good old fashioned reading. Or, if you're worried that you are too stupid/smart/old/young to read a certain genre, stop judging yourself and give it a try.

Ad failed to load

4You’ll have a broader worldview

GIPHY

Reading is the cheapest way to travel. Reading a book can take you to other countries, times, and dimensions. Reading forces you to actually think about other people and imagine yourself in their shoes. Picking up a new genre means you're giving yourself thousands of brand new worlds to explore.

5You’ll understand your favorite genre better

GIPHY

Books aren't terribly good at staying in one genre. Fantasy books borrow from political thrillers, horror stories steal from fairy tales, autobiographies occasionally veer into fiction. Read widely, and you might get more of the references in your own favorite books. Plus, you'll start to notice the ways in which genres differ and (more likely) the ways in which they blend.

6You’ll discover new favorites

GIPHY

Don't judge a book by its cover (or its genre, or its film adaptation). You might discover that a new genre is actually your new favorite. Just because a book has vampires in it (or no vampires, depending on your taste), it doesn't mean that it can't resonate with you on a personal level. And who doesn't want more favorite books to obsessively re-read?

Ad failed to load

7You’ll get out of that rut you’re in

GIPHY

We all get stuck in a reading rut every once in a while. I once read about four Vonneguts in a row and then spent a week feeling crushing despair over the human condition. Your mind needs a varied diet of books to stay sharp.

8Everyone will suddenly like you

GIPHY

OK, maybe not EVERYBODY. But that one friend who's been bugging you to read Game of Thrones for months will definitely appreciate your new-found love of the high fantasy genre.

9You’ll realize that “genre” is kind of meaningless

GIPHY

Seriously. "Genre" can be a pretty meaningless social construct (it's no mistake that "genre" and "gender" come from the same root word). Most books can easily fall under two or three genres, and a book's official genre is really just one person's opinion of what the book is about. So don't let your dislike of one YA vampire romance ruin every YA vampire romance for you.

Ad failed to load

10Your own writing will improve

GIPHY

Whether you're writing the next great American novel or agonizing over an email to your boss, reading a new genre will give you some new vocabulary words. You might also find that reading graphic novels helps your visual storytelling abilities, or that YA comedies help you talk to your cool younger cousin, or that romance novels seriously up your text flirting skills.

11You’ll be inspired to try new things

GIPHY

OK, so maybe you're not going to try to "do" Cheryl Strayed's Wild and go live in the woods until you have a cathartic experience. But you are going to find yourself tempted to try new things. Maybe that Gothic romance makes you want to walk out on the windswept moors. Or that comedian's memoir inspires you to try comedy. Or maybe that slice of life "literary fiction" novel makes you want to write your own slice of life "literary fiction" novels. Embrace life outside of your comfort zone. Read a new genre.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

Your Weekend Love Horoscope For May 19-20, 2018

We’re constantly fascinated by what our zodiac sign says about our lives, whether it's which signs are most compatible or how each sign handles conflict in relationships. That's why Bustle has enlisted Mecca Woods, a New York City-based astrologer of…
By Mecca Woods

7 Last-Minute Royal Wedding Party Ideas Worth Waking Up Early For

We're only two days away from the royal wedding, so it's safe to assume Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are finished with their planning (we hope). But if you're a commoner who's procrastinated on planning a watch party, you still have time to decorat…
By Ayana Lage

10 Little-Known British Traditions Meghan Markle Will Learn When She Marries Prince Harry

As an American woman dating a Brit, I am no stranger to the mishaps that can result from the cultural differences between the U.S. and England. And while I'm sure Meghan Markle has a slew of royal traditions to learn, titles to remember, and fancy ha…
By Kristin Magaldi

16 Brand New YA Rom-Coms To Add To Your Summer Reading List

Ah, summer. Post-Memorial Day it's all about being outside in the sunshine, lazy pool days and exciting beach trips, warm weather treats, and — most important of all — tote bags packed to the brim with all of the biggest and best summer reads. Whatev…
By Kerri Jarema

I've Paid $18,000 To A $24,000 Student Loan, & I Still Owe $24,000

It all became real the summer before my senior year of college. It was 2010, and my home phone still had a cord, which I wrapped around my fingers as I waited not-so-patiently for the apathetic representative on the other end to tell me the bad news …
By Kaitlyn Cawley

12 Personality Quizzes That Will Help You Determine Your Exact Strengths

Learning more about yourself can be tough. It's so easy to observe others to learn what makes them tick, what areas they really excel in, and the things they could be better at. Doing that to yourself, however, is a whole different story. That's exac…
By Jessica Booth

5 Brand New Short Story Collections You Can Finish In One Sitting This Weekend

Since 2013, May has been known by book-lovers by another name: Short Story Month. If you're ready to kick off this year's celebration the right way, make sure to pick up a short story collection to read over the weekend. Modern life moves more than …
By Sadie Trombetta

I Got Styled By 'Queer Eye's Tan France & Realized I Still Have A Lot Of Fashion "Rules" To Unlearn

When I walked into a New York City Express store on May 2 to get styled by Queer Eye's Tan France, I was ready for anything. And I mean truly anything. I am such a massive fan of the show and Tan that if he had instructed me to wrap myself in tin foi…
By Olivia Muenter

It Isn’t Bad To Have A “Princess Fantasy” — Mine Made Me The Woman I Am Today

What do you want to be when you grow up? If you were anything like me as a kid, at some point, the answer to that question was "a princess." Thanks to good old-fashioned gender stereotypes, most little girls born in the '90s (and even now) grew up in…
By Nicole Pomarico

9 Mother's Day Gifts For Your Mom That Also Give Back

Mother’s Day is around the corner, and unless you’re the type who’s got gift-giving on lock months in advance — and seriously, who is that person? — you might be scrambling a bit for great Mother's day 2018 gift ideas. And while it’s important to cho…
By Carolyn de Lorenzo

Here’s How To Get A FREE 30-Minute Facial At Sephora That Sucks Your Pores Clean

Sephora has long been a mecca for both serious and amateur beauty lovers alike, where they not only have makeup artists that help answer questions about products, but free samples to let you play with new collections. But now they have upped the ante…
By Marlen Komar

Kris Jenner Is FINALLY Launching A Makeup Line With Kylie

Maybe you don't have a favorite sister of the Kar-Jenner clan, and that's perfectly fine. The one thing you can't deny, though, is that when it comes power, no one in that family has more than the world famous momager. Now, Kris Jenner x Kylie Cosmet…
By Shea Simmons

This Kendall Jenner “Diva” Moment Is Really Being Taken Out Of Context

The fashion always takes center stage at the Met Gala, but there's usually a little drama, too. And this time, a member of the Kardashian-Jenner family is involved. People are buzzing about how Kendall Jenner shoved someone at the Met Gala, but after…
By Nicole Pomarico

Feel Like You've Seen Everything On Netflix? Add These Movies To Your Watch List

The weekend may feel too far away, but if you're lacking formal plans, a Netflix marathon session is always a good idea. If you're an avid viewer, however, you probably feel like you've seen everything the streaming platform has to offer already. In …
By Ashley Rey

These 4 Zodiac Signs Are Going To Have The Best Luck In Love This May

Spring fever is here, but not all signs in the zodiac are dealt the same dose of lovin'. Some signs are going to have a better love lives than the rest of us in May, because that's just the way the cookie crumbles. According to astrologer Linda Furia…
By Kaitlyn Wylde

9 Hacks For Fighting Jet Lag That Actually Work

Jet lag is the worst. There's no doubt about it. And it's only natural to want to find a way to prevent it. Searching for jet lag cures online often means encountering expensive products and sketchy supplements. Luckily, there are ways to train your …
By Eva Taylor Grant

Hillary Clinton Says She's Ready To Fight Like A Republican — EXCLUSIVE

Hillary Clinton Is Not Going Away Quietly. Can Hillary Clinton Please Go Quietly Into The Night? Unlike Losers Before Her, Clinton Is Not Going Gently Into the Night. These headlines, which appeared in various news outlets over the course of the last…
By Catherine Thompson and Jenny Hollander

Here's The Very Best Time To Book Your Summer Vacation If You're Trying To Save Money

Summer is a great time to travel, for obvious reasons. The weather is better. Many offices are more lax about time off. If you have kids, they’re out of school. But there’s one very important element that makes summer not a great time to travel: Cost…
By Emma McGowan
)}