Reading is an amazing experience, but it’s also easy to fall into the same genre and style of book every time. After all, we’ve found what works for us. However, keeping yourself in a literary box can get boring and stifle your reading growth. Keep reading to learn more about why you should explore new genres and styles of books.
Understand the Benefits of Expanding Your Literary Horizons
There’s nothing like getting lost in a good book. Whether you enjoy romance, mystery, or science fiction, reading offers an escape and a chance to explore new worlds. But did you know that expanding your reading interests has many other benefits?
Expanding your literary horizons can increase empathy and understanding. Reading books from different perspectives, both fictional and real, offers insights into different experiences. Reading literary fiction can enhance empathy and social understanding, benefiting relationships and communication skills. Reading non-fiction books from different perspectives can also educate us and offer similar benefits.
Broadening your literary horizons stimulates creativity. Exploring a variety of genres and styles inspires us and provides ideas for creative endeavors. Whether you’re a writer or another form of artist, diverse literature helps you tap into your own creativity.
Enhance Intellectual Abilities
Expanding your literary horizons benefits your intellectual abilities. Reading complex literary works improves vocabulary, reasoning, and critical thinking. This has practical applications in academics and professions, such as easier essay writing and clearer communication with superiors at work.
Learn How To Identify New Genres and Styles That Match Your Interests
Whether you’re a bookworm or new to reading, exploring new genres has many benefits. But with so many options, finding what you’ll enjoy is overwhelming, especially if you want to try something new. You can use the following tips to help you discover your perfect fit.
Reflect on Your Preferences
Before diving into new genres, think about books you’ve enjoyed in the past. Consider plot, setting, characters, and writing style. This reflection is your starting point for finding new books you’ll love.
Explore What’s out There
Finding new genres and styles is hard if you don’t know what they are. Research different options online and look for reviews from trusted sources, such as celebrity book recommendation lists or book bloggers.
Test and Reflect
Once you’ve found an intriguing book in a new genre, test-read it and reflect. Don’t rush the process. Take your time to explore and determine what you do or don’t like about this particular book and the genre it represents. After reflecting, you can try more books in this new genre or move on to something else you think you may enjoy more.
Tips for Exploring Different Books Outside of Your Comfort Zone
Trying something new is intimidating, but it broadens our horizons and introduces us to new perspectives. As you hunt down genres, authors, and books to test-read and reflect on, consider diversity, recommendation sources, and content length.
Start With a Familiar Genre, but Look for Diverse Options
If you’re not ready to reflect and move on from an entire genre, you can still try something new with a new author. For example, if you love romance novels, try one by an author from a different cultural background. You’ll still get the romance you love (pun intended) but with a new style that gives a fresh perspective.
Join a Book Club
We mentioned above that you should explore what’s out there, especially online. However, if you’re struggling to find trusted recommendations online, consider doing something interactive. Joining a book club in person or online is a great way to get recommendations that you might not have considered.
Incorporate Short Stories and Essays
If you’re not ready for a whole book in a new genre or by a new author, try short stories or essays. These options give a taste of new story elements and styles without overwhelming you. They offer the same benefits of expanding your literary horizons in a more manageable package.
Reasons To Take a Chance on Unknown Authors
As you explore different genres, styles, and authors, you may come across someone who’s virtually unknown. Unknown authors offer unique perspectives, plots, and styles, making them a treasure trove that you can discover while expanding into a new genre.
Fresh Ideas and Perspectives
Unknown authors bring a unique voice, fresh ideas, and new perspectives. They explore various genres and styles, and many of them break traditional publishing rules. Their work reflects their experiences and culture, resonating with a diverse audience. Choosing a book in a new genre by an unknown author is a great way to diversify your reading options.
Support for Upcoming Authors
Many unknown authors are just beginning their literary careers and need support. When you take a chance and read their work, you give them a platform to showcase their talent and gain recognition.
A Different Reading Experience
Unknown authors offer exceptional reading experiences with their unique voices, styles, and plots. We witness their evolution as writers and celebrate their successes. Their passion for writing can bleed into your passion for reading, which can help you adjust to new genres and styles.
Guidelines for Maintaining a Balanced Reading List
Now that you understand the benefits of expanding your reading, you can build a balanced reading list. A balanced reading list will include the following features.
Include your favorite genres, authors, and styles on your list, as well as new ones you want to explore. Depending on how diverse your favorites already are, you can split your list with half favorites and half new or whatever combination you prefer. Don’t forget about the short story and essay options we mentioned above.
Foreign or International Authors
Every genre on your reading list should include foreign or international authors. Diverse authors enrich your reading experience, offering insights into different cultures and beliefs. Look for books that embrace diversity and different cultural backgrounds. Consider audiobooks so that you can learn how to pronounce new words from other languages and cultures.
Recommendations From Someone Different Than You
Sometimes, you’ll find new books on your own, and that’s great. However, one of the best ways to explore diverse genres and authors is to ask someone who’s different than you for recommendations. If you’re someone of Irish descent living in the American northeast, ask someone who’s Middle Eastern what they’re reading and why. If you don’t have someone specific to ask, look for suggestions online.
Exploring new genres and styles of books isn’t always easy, but it’s worth it. Frostbeard Studios offers book lovers soy candles that can help you relax as you try something new or return to an old favorite.