Moving Beyond Your Comfort Zone

I can’t be the only one. I love reading about adventures in space, epic quests, stories where people go inside the head of another person, superheroes, and of course you know my affinity for genre-oriented, short-story collections and anthologies. It’s my default. It’s my comfort zone. If I go into a bookstore (which only happens if I drive past one; when we’re on vacation my wife is resigned to the fact that I will go into any bookstore we get near) I instantly go to the science fiction and fantasy section and scour the shelves. I read every title in the section, looking for that book I’m missing, that book I didn’t know was out, that book I didn’t know I needed until I saw it.

But sometimes, yes I admit it, sometimes I read nongenre books. And it’s not just nonfiction; I recently read and enjoyed Lauren Groff’s The Monsters of Templeton, and Chip Kidd’s The Learners. I started the year reading a bunch of books on design and typography, and even found a few amazing blogs like I Love Typography (about typography, duh) and The Dieline (about product design) that I continue to read religiously.

And if I expand my list to anything not science fiction and fantasy, well, I’ve been reading a ton of mysteries this year. Ton being relative as I average a little less than a book a week. But I’ve read books this year from Chelsea Cain, Charlie Huston, Jack O’Connell (Oh. My. God. He is FREAKING amazing), David Wellington (his vampire novels), and Ed Gorman.

I might hit streaks when I find a new author, but mostly, I turn to science fiction and fantasy when I need something new to read.

What do you read that’s not science fiction and fantasy?

[Image from Flickr user decor8; CC-licensed for commercial use.]


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