I recently won a raffle from Penquin Book Publishers consisting of ten hardcover books stuffed into a tote bag. Two of the books are ones I would have purchased, the others are out of my reading comfort zone. I have a friend who can read anything and find enjoyment. I am sorry to say I cannot. Oh how I have tried but alas, phhhhhht. This friends berates me saying how I am missing so much, yada, yada, yada.
At this point I would like everyone to talk amoungst themselves. I'll give you a topic. "Reading Comfort Zones". Discuss.
I have my comfort zones, but I don't mind straying. I just can't stray too far. I've started ten different books in the last two weeks and none of them have had any staying power. They are pretty varied (even a western which is way out of my comfort zone). Unfortunately, that really messes with my reading pace. I do have limits for genres I'll read. But I am more decided by a book's review score as to whether I'll give it a shot.
Hey Bill! One of my reading goals for 2018 was to make sure that there was one book on my TBR every month that was outside my comfort zone (I read about 6 books a month at the moment) and I have to say, I have really enjoyed doing it. That's not to say I've enjoyed (or even finished!) every book I've tried, but I've enjoyed challenging myself about what my comfort zone actually is, and it's been a real joy to discover some new authors who I'd have previously dismissed as not for me, particularly in science fiction and fantasy. I used to say I liked historical fiction best, but readin outside my comfort zone has helped me to realise that it's not really the historical settings that grab me so much as the fact that so much historical fiction has a political or social comment to make, and that's what I love, and I've found that actually plenty of other genres have those elements too.
What types of books are in your comfort zone, Bill? What about them is it that you love?
Don't get me wrong, I don't think there's anything wrong with reading in your comfort zone (we read to be entertained amongst other things, of course) but I have been suprised about how much my concept of what a comfort zone looks like has changed, and how much I've liked the discovery too.
I am not ashamed to say that YA and fantasy is my comfort zone and all I want to read right now! I'm not saying I won't ever look at other things in the future (I know my taste in books will probably change at some point) but there are so many books in these genres that I want to read and haven't yet so why would I bother with something it is far more likely I won't like???
My comfort zone usually consists of strong characters on a journey of sorts. Examples would be Frodo of LOR or Woodrow Call of Lonesome Dove, but not limited to men. Two of my favorite characters are strong females, Jane Eyre which I have read numerous times and Lisabeth Salandar, the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. More recent reads would be Henning Mankel's Wallander or Wyoming Sherriff Walt Longmire.
Like Ms. Cruickshanks said, reading is mostly about entertainment. I do like to read nonfiction science like Neal de Grasse Tyson or Brian Greene and occasionly Richard Dawkins if I feel in the learning mode, but my two favorite characters are Holden Caufield and David Cooperfield. I feel a connection to both in that my childhood and adolescents was a bit rough. Oh oh, I left out Robert B. Parker's Spencer and Ludlow's Jason Bourne.
I could go on but I think I made my point. Strong characters. Well, so long for now from hotter than hell Florida and keep on reading on.