The other day while surfing the net I came across a message board I don’t visit very often. They were discussing books and authors, mainly historicals, and I was struck by how much I’ve grown as a reader. Many of them seemed perfectly content with the market, what the authors were producing and very happy in their own comfort box. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that exactly, but I’ve discovered in the past number of years that life has a way of kicking us outside that box when we least expect it. Now I’m not going to go as far as too equate real life with reading romance novels, but in a small miniscule way, the more we are willing to experiment, to accept different ideas and concepts in romance books, maybe, the easier it will be to handle the changes real life throws us.
For example, for years I’ve heard how good Outlander was. A number of years ago a friend even lent me her copy to read. When I saw how thick a book it was and that it was written in the first person, I handed it back and said, “thanks, but it’s not for me”. It was far too away from my comfort reading level. But after hearing how good it was once I joined the on-line reading community, I saw it in a UBS and thought “what the hell, why not. Live a little.” So I did. Now whether I enjoyed the book or not isn’t really the point I’m trying to make. I did like it though by the way. Not as much as others, but it was the attitude I took that was important. I then began applying this same attitude towards other genres, some worked, others didn’t. Vamp books for example I tried with a why not, what the hell attitude and didn’t care for them. But the effort was made. Werewolves on the other hand worked. Go figure. Now in real life, over the past number of years, I’ve been thrown some real curve balls. I’m sure all of us have had those. But if we take the approach of “why not, give it a shot” I think it makes us more flexible people and able to handle change better. Life is always changing isn’t it?
That’s why I think Keishon’s challenge to read a different type of book from our TBR piles each month is such a good idea. Although yes, it’s to make a bit of a dent in my pile but I know in those brief moments of crystal clarity that I have sometimes, I will always have a huge TBR. I will exit this world leaving many books unread. For me though, the real challenge is to stretch myself as a reader. Some of her year’s worth of challenges will be tough for me, but I want to do it anyway. The last one worked J.
Something else that prompted these thoughts was reading Tara Maria’s blog about her leaving her zone. She spread her romance reading wings with great success. Congrats!
So if we start with an open attitude and a willingness to accept new ideas when it comes to romance reading and then apply it to real life, who knows what can happen? They won’t all be successful. I know for me, I’ve tried something from different genres and thought “well that was perfectly dreadful”. But the real gain is in the trying.
In my current job, I am a data analyst, about as far outside my comfort box as I can get. And you know something? I like it. And I’m good at it. Who knows *grin* what might have happened it I hadn’t read that Outlander book.
*note* For those who haven’t noticed and are interested, Sybil has set up a book exchange group, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bookslostandfound/ I’m glad she did! I’m such a dufus with this kind of thing somehow I managed to sign myself up twice. I sent off my first package to another reader yesterday and believe me; the thrill was just as great if not greater when I sent it as the one I got when I received Bliss!!
Wow, I set a record with linking! Between that and pictures I'm not doing to bad. Now if I could only learn to sign up for things just once.