Ambassador of Books ~ Book Club Madam ~ Blogger Gal

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

BBAW: Branching Out?

Today's Topic: Unexpected Treasure - We invite you to share with us a book or genre you tried due to the influence of another blogger. What made you cave in to try something new and what was the experience like?  (Details on the daily topics can be found at the BBAW website.)

If you are at all like me then you are constantly hearing about books outside of your comfort zone.  The biggest thing I've noticed in the blogs I read is that more and more people are getting into Young Adult (YA) and dystopian novels.

In order to broaden my horizons I decided to give some of these books a try.  And you know what? I'm not really a fan.  But you know what else?  I'm ok with that.  What I found by reading outside my comfort zone is that I'm really happy INSIDE my comfort zone.  It is there I find the books that truly excite me, books I want to read again and again, books I want to share with the world.

If it thrills you to continually explore new genres, do it.  If it makes you happy to stick within your established reading horizons, do it.   Through this experience I realized that what is important to me is that each reader finds the books that make him or her passionate about reading, and then reads those books.


[If you are interested in the YA and dystopian books I read, here are links to some of my reviews: The Hunger Games, Linger, Genesis, Unsigned Hype.]

25 comments:

Michelle (my books. my life.) said...

I think it IS important to try things outside your comfort zone even if you don't end up liking it.

And since YA is one of my favorite things to read, I feel better that I didn't love your favorite book (you might be mentioned in my post today).

Heather J. said...

Michelle - I don't think I'll ever completely give up trying new things (oh the horror!) but I think my expectations of enjoyment might just be lower. Does that make sense? And no worries about not really liking the Robert Jordan book - you like what you like, and that's just the way it is! :)

Suey said...

Just for the record, I think you should keep trying YA books, but not of the paranormal/dystopian genre... try some real life, normal kid ones. (But then again, maybe you have already and didn't really like them either?)

P.S. You are mentioned in my post today too! :)

Heather J. said...

Suey - Ok, I'll make a deal with you: you pick a YA book that you think I'll enjoy and I'll read it, no matter what it is. I promise to give it a fair chance! :)

Amanda said...

I can understand that. Every time I try, say, a science fiction book, I feel the same way. But sometimes something breaks through to me - if it didn't, I'd still be reading 100% classics like I was a few years ago, thinking I hated everything modern! Sometimes I expand my comfort zone a little. :)

Suey said...

You are on! :) I will be pondering my choice for you....

April (BooksandWine) said...

Totally understandable. There are things outside of my comfort zone that I have definitely tried and definitely do not like regardless.

Kudos on being honest.

Andi said...

And that's cool! I think the important thing is being open enough to try something new whether we enjoy it in the end or not.

Heather J. said...

Amanda - Like I said to Michelle above, I'm not totally giving up trying new things, I'm just doing it less and also lowering my expectations a bit. It's just that when I looked through all the book reviews I've done on this blog trying to find something really out of my comfort zone (and there were quite a few) that I truly loved, I didn't find a single thing that fit the bill.

Suey - Great! I'm sure you'll come up with something worthwhile - I trust you.

April - Thanks. :) I know not everyone will agree with me, but I want to really ENJOY my reading and I don't often do that when I branch out.

Andi - I'm definitely open to it, just not as often and without high expectations. ;)

Serena said...

YA is hit and miss for me most times, but I like most dystopian I've read. Glad to see you reached outside the comfort zone even if you didn't find anything you really loved.

Alyce said...

I do like to range out of my comfort zone sometimes. In some ways I've found new genres (graphic novels, steampunk), in others I have just re-affirmed my dislikes (urban fantasy and paranormal - especially zombie lit. Blech!).

bermudaonion said...

I have a pretty broad comfort zone, but like you, find reading outside of it doesn't usually work for me.

Trish said...

I love your honesty in this post! Blogging has helped me branch out into genres that I would have never tried before, but even better yet, I've discovered awesome books that ARE in my comfort zone.

Amy said...

Very cool! Good to know what you like and nothing wrong with sticking to that :)

Dreamybee said...

I think reading is a great metaphor for life in this regard-it's always good to keep your options open and be willing to try new things occasionally, but there's nothing wrong with sticking to what you know and like either.

Jenny said...

That's a good thing to note too, that you shouldn't feel pressured to go to a different genre if you know you don't like it, especially after you've tried it. I tried reading a faerie/fantasy book and confirmed it was not for me! LOL

Chris said...

I LOVE this post!! As much as I'm sometimes a HORRIBLE pusher telling people "Oh you just have to try this fantasy book or this graphic novel" if you know what you like then yeah...there's just nothing at ALL wrong with reading what you're comfortable with! I'm all about reading without pressure. Though if you like to read outside of your comfort zone, that's good too. I guess one could say, that's what you're comfortable with!

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

Like you, I tend to stick to genres I enjoy (so many books, so little time!)

I've gone outside and found some hits (graphic novels, although they haven't been added to my regular repertoire ... I enjoy them), and some misses (metafiction; have tried 2 novels, and it just doesn't work for me)

Heather J. said...

Serena – I’m hoping Suey picks a good YA for me to read!

Alyce – I’m right there with you on urban fantasy – it just doesn’t work for me.

Bermudaonion – Glad to know I’m not alone. :)

Trish – Thanks for that! And I agree – I’ve also discovered wonderful book that are completely in my comfort zone.

Amy & Dreamybee – Thanks!

Jenny – I think that’s really what I was trying to say – that I don’t want to KEEP trying a genre that doesn’t work for me. :)

Chris – I can be a horrible pusher too, but at the same time I had to be pushed into reading things I’m not interesting in. I’m so hypocritical! LOL

Dawn – “so many books, so little time” – EXACLTY!!!

GMR said...

I'm definitely for trying things outside your usual comfort zone especially in reading, but then again my zone is rather widespread so it doesn't happen TOO often... ^_^ Bookmarks up to you for trying something outside "your box"....even if INSIDE is more comfortable in the end.

fantaghiro23 said...

I'm with you. I like trying new things, and sometimes I'm surprised, but sometimes I'm disappointed. I think the main point, though, is that we read what we want to read and not have to apologize for it.:)

Heather J. said...

GMR - Yes, I find it quite comfy inside my box. *grin*

fantaghiro23 - "and not have to apologize for it" - YES! That's really what I'm trying to say - we all like what we like, and that is perfectly ok. (And welcome to my blog!)

Michelle said...

You should be ok with it! I've not ever been a fan of jumping on the bandwagon so you can say you've read something or whatnot. Reading is entertainment and should be enjoyed it shouldn't be an obligation. You know what you like and you read it. Sounds fantastic to me!

Suey said...

Okay, it's me, back with a YA book suggestion for you to read. Well, but of course I can't say just one! So have you not read any Markus Zusak or John Green? No doubt you've seen me go on and on about them over at my blog? So I suggest something by them:

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
Paper Towns by John Green

Pick one. Let me know what you think. Crossing my fingers all goes well!

Or come to think of it, if you haven't read Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, given the uproar this weekend, maybe you should read THAT one!

Heather J. said...

Michelle – Thanks! That’s basically what I was trying to say – that I want to read what I like and not be pressured into trying to like something that doesn’t appeal to me.

Suey – Since I’ve already read and loved The Book Thief I’m going to give John Green a try. I’ll pick up a copy of An Abundance of Katherines within the next month (once I finish the 4 read-a-longs I’ve got going! LOL). This should be fun!

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