Spring Out of Your Comfort-Zone

By Alicia Ballard

Some readers, including myself, get stuck on a certain author or genre. It can be a satisfying but dangerous thing. One moment you could be on a science fiction binge, then the next thing you know, it’s been six months of nothing but science fiction and you feel guilty about the pile of fantasy sitting on your TBR (To Be Read) shelf.

 

The worst is getting stuck on one author, especially a prolific one. For some authors, they may have one series or a handful of books and burning through them only lasts a few months. Some authors, however, have bibliography lists that span pages. For a binge reader, we could get caught in the loop of reading one sole author until our friends and family members groan when you bring up their name.

 

Spring 1

 

Here are a few tips on how to break the cycle:

 

  • Play it Safe

Change can be scary, especially choosing a new author. Choose an author that writes similar material, or an author that your favorite author recommends. If you read one book, and dislike the writing style or story, there is no commitment to stick with the new author.

 

  • Genre Jump

 Choose a genre that is similar in themes and style as your favorite genre. Or, choose a subgenre that is similar to your normal reading tastes, or one that combines two genres. For example, if you enjoy ghost stories and romance, you might want to dabble in the subgenre of paranormal romance. Or if you enjoy horror and science fiction, you could try reading something that combines the two.

 

  • Shock

 If all else fails and you just can’t seem to tear yourself out of the reading pit, just pick up the complete opposite of what you enjoy reading. It sounds crazy, yes, but this extreme method will help you appreciate your favorite genres and authors more. It reminds you of why you fell in love with that certain style of storytelling in the first place.

 

Spring 2

 

A happy reader is a good reader, and a binge is good every once in a while. You wouldn’t want to eat spaghetti for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, even if it was your very favorite food in the world.  We  need to add in something else every so often. Of course if you enjoy the binge, there is no pressure to change reading habits. Everyone can read what they want, when they want. It is the beauty of being a reader.