The Other Kind of Reading Diversely

Over the past year or so the question of diversity in reading has come to the forefront of book blogging.  I do believe it is important to read from a variety of backgrounds; genders, races and so on, but I believe it is equally important to read from a variety of genres.

As much as I enjoy reading, I enjoy the search for a good book.  Browsing the kindle store, clicking around on Goodreads, scrolling through Twitter, watching booktube videos and reading reviews all in the name of that most noble quest.  Certainly I use books I have enjoyed as a starting point, but my world of reading would be very dull indeed if I read only those books.

I like to think I read from a variety of genres, and do my best not to (for lack of a better word) judge a certain type of book before giving the genre a good read for myself.  The New Adult genre is a good example of this, as upon hearing of it I wanted to immediately scoff and vow to stay as far away from it as possible.  But I looked into it, read some good reviews, and found I didn’t hate it.  I’ve by no means read widely of the genre, but at least I can say I gave it a go.  I wouldn’t know that I enjoyed Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series unless my Grandmother had pressed the latest book into my hands, I never knew travel writing could be engaging and fun until I tried Bill Bryson’s books, and I didn’t know that comic books were something to which I could crave the next installment as dearly as I had Harry Potter books in the past until I read Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye.  It’s only through trying different things that you can really say what it is that you enjoy most – and that is true of all things in life, not just books.

This, of course, is where the question is raised of whether or not it is “enough” to read only what you know.  Reading is a hobby and as such, is undertaken for fun, an escape from everyday life.  If you’re a fan of suspenseful thrillers, you’re more likely to pick one up over that new contemporary best seller on your shelf but you might be missing out on reading your new favourite book, or indeed, a gateway to a whole genre you never knew you could love.  So if we’re making a conscious effort to read from a variety of backgrounds in order to see a story from a perspective different from our own, why not also explore other genres at the same time?

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6 thoughts on “The Other Kind of Reading Diversely

  1. I completely agree! I think reading from a range of genres is very important. You’re not going to learn as much reading one genre as you are a variety.

  2. New adult is really the one genre that I haven’t gotten into yet. I am afraid that a lot of the books are going to be like Fifty Shades of Grey and I am just not into that! I know that I need to give them a shot because I am discriminating by labeling them all as “mommy porn” lol
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

  3. That’s how I feel all of the time. If you’re going to be diverse in your reading, the characters and features are only one step, you need to read a variety of different styled and genred books too. I admit, I’m a slacker with Dystopians, other than that, I think I’m pretty diverse, (with favourites of course), but I push myself to read more of things I don’t always, because I want to read diversely. Trying new genres is important, opens new doors!<3

  4. Yes! You have some great points. I don’t quite understand the reading diversely from race and gender thing that I have yet to come across it (i’m new to the book blog scene) But reading diversity in genres is a must. It’s like trying new foods, it may scare you but if you can over come that fear and try something new you may find a new favorite If you don’t like it you never have to wonder… If you ware missing out.

  5. What a thoughtful post! Diversity should not be only in the books we read but in the genres as well. I, for one, am guilty of just sticking to a few genres, sometimes afraid to venture out of my comfort zone. My favorite is YA contemporary, so most of the books I read fall under this genre. I sometimes read fantasy or dystopia but that’s it. I rarely read scifi or historical fiction or paranormal. And I admit that sometimes I feel like I’m limiting myself just because I’m hesitant to try books I don’t usually read. Amazing post, Samantha! 🙂

    Julie @ Books and Insomnia

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