-->Until fairly recently I thought I read pretty much anything. Over the past couple years, I've realized that I don't really love all genres. For example, I've known for a while that paranormal romance because just doesn't really work for me. There are a few things that I think are on the border - Amelia Atwater-Rhodes' Kiesha'ra series technically is a shapeshifter series which makes one think paranormal, but it really feels like a fantasy novel, and Laini Taylor's Smoke and Bone series has angels, but again in a lot of ways feels more like fantasy. I've also grown to know that perhaps I don't read all that much contemporary fiction and my consumption of historical fiction has greatly diminished (and I don't know why since that used to be a staple of my diet), but I at least was pretty well rounded when I came to science fiction and fantasy. Right?
I read almost exclusively fantasy novels. I only recently realized, after a conversation with one of my only IRL bookish friends, that I don't really read any science fiction. Admittedly, I do read dystopias. But I honestly couldn't tell you the last time I read a science fiction novel that wasn't a dystopia. And of the other genres I read, almost all of them border on fantasy in some way. Yes, Anne McCaffrey is science-fiction...but she has dragons and a similar set-up to the feudal systems you find in fantasy. So...it's still close enough to fantasy for me to feel like I'm not reading much in other genres.
Over the past couple years I've also almost entirely cut adult fiction from my reading. It used to comprise of probably 40% of what I read. In this whole year, I've read only 4 books that are clearly adult fiction books (Things like Locke Lamora can be classified as both I feel) that weren't for review. None of these things in and of themselves is bad - young adult vs. adult is simply an audience change. But again - I think getting stuck in one audience is just as limiting as reading one genre.
Yes, it's good to streamline your books so you are reading books that interest you. But by being so selective with my books, I've also boxed myself into a very specific genre with very specific messages. And that means that I'm not pushing myself. At what point does the balance between not wasting your time on books you might not like start to encroach on reading book that push you to new ideas and experiences? Is that something you worry about, or is it better to consume as many enjoyable books as possible? I'm of the mind that I want books that push me, because it just opens you up to so many new thoughts and experiences, but I also feel like my patience for books outside my comfort zone has greatly diminished as I have started to blog. The last book I can remember challenging my way of thinking or putting things in a new way for me was Just Like Fate - a contemporary novel (with a twist. Could potentially be seen as a contemporary with sci-fi undertones?) I think it is noteworthy that while I've found some of the best fantasy novels I've ever read in the past six months, none of them have made me have that "Aha! I never thought of it that way" moment.
So here is where YOU come in! Over the next few months I want to start reading some books that aren't fantasy. Any genre (even paranormal romance), any audience - picture books, mg, ya, na, adult! I'll try them all! It may take me a while to get to them - I'm going to be moving and it's going to be totally hectic basically until September, but I will hopefully get to at least one of the recommendations/person...by the end of the year? (I'm terrible at challenges, so I make no promises as this is a bit like a challenge...but I think I have it in me!) Some of you have already recommended me some books that I am putting in a new goodreads shelf that will be just for book recommendations from you guys! Feel free to browse my favourites shelf and the books I really, really, REALLY plan on reading (instead of my 1000 book tbr pile haha) to help with the recommendations or to vote them higher on my tbr list. I can't wait to see what you guys come up with!