It’s happened-the moment you’ve been dreading.
Your wife, husband, son, cousin, or co-worker asked you to read a chapter of their science fiction, high fantasy, romance, or vampire novel. Now what do you do? You’re a decent person, and you don’t want to or can’t afford to hurt their feelings. But, genre fiction stories are weird. You’ve never read any because you really don’t want to. Sure, you read fiction: murder mysteries, adventures, generic bestsellers. Normal stuff.
I understand. Well-meaning people come to me all the time with suggestions. When they say, “You really should read this best seller, this YA novel, this non-fiction autobiography,” I always smile and nod. Inside I cringe. No WAY I’m ever going to read that book. I am a very discriminating reader, I tell myself. My time is limited, and I simply don’t want to invest the effort in something that sounds boring or ridiculous.
However, even I, a self-confessed reading snob, occasionally step out of my comfort zone. Some of the recommended books are still not my cup of tea, but some are fascinating and beautifully written, and I fall in love with a new author. My friends are happy I took their advice, and I’ve stretched my limits. Everybody wins.
Here’s my advice on reading genre fiction.
Suspend your disbelief.
Science fiction has many faces. Hard science fiction follows natural laws. Relativity rules. Character driven space opera laughs at relativity.
Fantasy trumps all natural laws.
Vampires suck the life out of natural laws.
Romance novels usually have happy ending. Girl gets boy-if she wants him.
Go ahead. Read something different. You know you want to. OK, maybe not. But, you never know, you might be pleasantly surprised.
When was the last time you read outside of your comfort zone?