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?