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Monday, July 4, 2016

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Novel Newcomers (Late Edition): Aentee @ Read at Midnight Conquering the Blog

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Happy Fourth of July! I mean... if you're from the US, but I don't actually go celebrate fireworks and whatnot... Too loud. I lose sleep.

Anyways... today isn't exactly... a Novel Newcomers stop for Bookwyrming Thoughts (I mean, you should totally go over to ReadWriteLove28 and see who Nori is showcasing this week). Long story short, I forgot to schedule a post several weeks and here I am, creating a late edition because I am just really bad at remembering things lately (also, life).

Then again, I forgot to do it last week as well (but then I got on later, and scheduled it for Tuesday, but it's still technically late regardless). I really do suck at blogging sometimes.
Okay, so to interrupt holiday festivities, let me introduce you to this special (special because I forgot to schedule her and she didn't go harp at me... also, she's a great designer...) potato I mentioned on my overly random hiatus/slump post.

Aentee from Read at Midnight
You might know her from The Social Potato.

Reading a Wide Range of Genres: Is It Necessary?

Nowadays, I consider myself primarily a reader of speculative fiction, be in fantasy, science fiction, or magical realism. However, I do occasionally stray off to read the odd historical fiction or non-fiction book. I usually enjoy these diversions from my usual diet of dragons and galactic wars, but they never seem to stick. So today, I ask you the same question, is it necessary to read a diverse range of books? Is it something you should even strive to do?

The Pros:
1.  Prevents Monotony: Do you groan when you see an orphan who discovers she's the lost princess of a forgotten kingdom? Do you roll your eyes when yet another book is pitched as a deadly game involving a bunch of teens under the legal drinking age? Then you might suffer from burnout from all the tropes and most popular storylines in your current genre. I find the cure to this is a quick sojourn to an unfamilar section of the bookstore, where plots that are fresh and exciting awaits.

2. Different Covers: I have noted that a lot of the books marketed as literary fiction have the most stunning of covers. Whenever I see them, I am seized with the need to own them even though I have no inkling of what the plot is. This might just be my bookstagrammer self speaking, though. I also adore the art style in Middle Grade series even though it's not something I commonly read. Not to mention the classics, which all now exist in approximately 300 gorgeous covers, none of which I've read but all of which I want to buy. Whenever I see these gorgeous covers, I am tempted to diversify my reading pattern.

3. You Might Find Your Favourite Book Ever: Although my favourite genres are fantasy and magical realism, some of my favourite books do not fall into this category, and I would never have found them if I didn't take the plunge and decide to veer from my usual TBR. My favourite non-fiction book is the hilarious and enlightening Stiff by Mary Roach. One of my top reads of 2016 so far is The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North, a book I picked up from the General Fiction area of my local bookstore because of the title. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell and Me Before You by Jojo Moyes are books from a genre I usually NEVER touch, but they contain two of the heroines I relate to the most in all of fiction-verse!

4. Exposure To Different Ideas: The quickest and surest way to get exposures to different themes is reading different genre. Even though diversity is slowly pervading the young adult world, there's also a lot of general fiction with diverse characters which are excellent. I highly recommend Americanah and Tell The Wolves I'm Home! Within genre such as general fiction and crime, there's also a lot of translated work from foreign authors, which is doubly excellent.

5. Your Friends and Family Will Be In Awe of your Recommendation Skills: Since I've started reading more widely, it became a lot easier to recommend to people books my friends or family might like reading. I know some of my friends have low tolerance for fantasy or science fiction, so I am glad to have another set of recommendation ready for them! Their loss for their book snobbery, but every book read is a win for all!

The Cons:
1. No Security Blanket: There's something warm and comforting about starting a book and having the confidence that it will deliver what you would expect from it. When I start a fairy tale retelling, I know I'll be treading familiar and much beloved territories. But when I start a genre I usually don't read, I have fears that I won't like the writing styles or the way the themes are portrayed.

2. Bad For Book Budget: As it is, I already have hundreds of books on my wishlist and TBR, and they're just from the three genres I normally dabble in. The more exposure to different books, the costlier it becomes for me! This is a problem I am fully prepared to deal with.

As you can see, I am a supporter of the reading widely and reading everything camp. How about you? Do you prefer your comfort zone or are you an eclectic reader?

You can find Aentee on her blog, Read at Midnight, or on Twitter

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Sophia

Sophia is the owner and founder of Bookwyrming Thoughts, but also found on various parts of the internet. She's a 19-year-old communications major who has weird humor and doesn't fit the Asian stereotype (maybe a little). Books, chocolate, technology, and music are among some of her favorite things. For more of her work, visit her personal website.