You’ve already found a lot of great books that check all of your boxes and fit snugly into your favorite genre. Why branch out? Consider these reasons why expanding your library once in a while could actually improve your reading experience.

Get Out of a Reading Slump

Most of us have experienced the pain of finishing an amazing series. Now what? How will you fill that void?

If you’re an avid reader in your favorite genre, you may find yourself reading books with similar plots or recycled characters and feeling a little bored. Why not pick up a popular or critically acclaimed book from another genre? With a little change of scenery, you’ll give yourself the best chance of renewed excitement.

Overcome Book Prejudices

We are all guilty of writing off certain genres. Maybe your high school English teacher’s rambling lectures on Lord of the Flies has made you avoid the dystopian fiction section of your library, or maybe you cringe when you think of your pre-teen love of vampires and young adult romance books. Whatever your prejudice, maybe it’s time to try again.

If you are a young adult and have recently gone through your own “cringy” romance, perhaps those romance novels will speak to you in a new way. Now that you’ve gone through a pandemic, maybe dystopian novels will take on a new light. Although you may have hated certain genres five, ten, or fifteen years ago, your tastes may have changed.

When choosing a new genre, don’t limit yourself because of bad reading experiences. Not all books in the same category bear the same quality. True, some books won’t be to your taste, but genres that you’ve never tried may be more enjoyable than you had once imagined.

Above all remember, you never have to finish a book that you don’t enjoy!

Find New Amazing Books—and Friends

Great writers and books are found in every genre, and limiting your book diet is like only eating the cherries off a fudge sundae—You can eat the whole sundae!

Books have a way of connecting people and starting meaningful conversations. Reading books in a variety of genres may help you meet friends and have better conversations about books with existing friends. Those kinds of conversations come much more often if you’re well-read.

Expand Your Worldview

Being a well-rounded reader is one of the best ways to increase your empathy and understanding of diverse ideas or people. Many authors’ concepts and ideas can best be expressed or understood through their particular genre.

Perhaps reading a poetry collection will help you understand the trauma of childhood abuse; you may learn empathy from reading a historical fiction novel about a family who leaves everything behind to join the Gold Rush; or a fantasy novel could help you learn the value of relationships.

Different genres force you to look at the world in new ways and then challenge you to change the way you think. If you limit yourself to what is most comfortable, you will miss opportunities to expand your worldview and gain perspective. Plus, you will miss out on a bunch of great books that you may actually love if you give them a chance.  

When it comes to choosing what you want to read, there are no rules. Read what you enjoy. If you choose to read mainly from your favorite genre, just remember that there are a lot of books out there; you might surprise yourself if you give them a try.