I have blogged before about my love affair with reading and I am reading a book at the moment that is making me think about my reading habits.]
I am about two-thirds of the way through 'A Million Little Pieces' by James Frey, and I have finding it an uncomfortable read. In a good way. It follows James as a 23 year old in rehab, not the sort of fiction I would usually choose to read (it is actually non-fiction but reads like fiction). It is graphic, tragic and engaging. It goes against the grain for the genre of book I usually go for.
So what books do I tend to read? Ironically my favourite book of the last few years is again a book that challenged what I usually read.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is a teen book which I pimp out whenever I can! I have given it as birthday presents, loaned it, recommended it, and I have loved seeing boys, girls, women and men get sucked into the dramatic plot. It made me realise that perhaps I wasn't being open to reading a wide enough range of texts.
It is easy to fall into safe reading. Selecting a book has risk. It may be about the financial risk. but also the risk that you will waste time reading a book you don't enjoy. This is why talking about books is so important! This may happen informally with friends, or in a slightly more formal setting like a book group or larger campaigns like tv book shows. We reduce our risk when someone tells us the book was great.
A Millions Pieces is challenging me, and I'm enjoying it. It's hard to read due to the nature of the subject, but also due to the lack of speech marks! But I'm enjoying it. Do you challenge yourself when reading books? Have you stepped out of your genre safety net recently? Reading is meant to be fun, but you may well be missing out on some gems out there, if you're not willing to try something a bit different.