Reading outside the box

I received a lot of comments the other day suggesting authors who don’t write in romance. It got me thinking…should I step outside my beloved genre? I know, I know. Shocking. Call it a sign of cabin fever or delirium from this never-ending winter we’ve been enjoying but I started to consider reading something other than romance.

The idea got me thinking, do readers ever read something other than their favourite genre? Do you ever read outside your genre? Does anyone? Is it a good idea? Do you go running back to the books you love with renewed appreciation or do you discover a new type of writing you love? Is it worth it or is it a terrible-experience-never-to-be-repeated?

Honestly, I feel a little scared about trying it.

17 thoughts on “Reading outside the box

  1. I read all over the spectrum myself, though my weakness is speculative fiction in the broadest sense (modern, fantasy, science fiction, cyberpunk, steampunk, paranormal). That’s…several different genres to people. I would try some of the “out of my scope” genres like romance more if I had the foggiest clue where to start. If you want recommendations on the aforementioned genres, I can list them off. 🙂

  2. I started in paranormal and I’m releasing a BDSM Romance in 2 weeks. I’ve had a lot of people who have been interested in both books, and they’re both genres I read in.
    With the market as it is today, I’ve had a lot of people tell me not to limit myself, this is the time to follow the ideas that interest you, whatever the genre. 🙂

  3. I don’t have anything that qualifies as a favorite genre – at least not “of all time.” I certainly go through periods where I love to read, say snarky humor (Christopher Moore, Tom Robbins and Carl Hiassen) or period romance (Lauren Willig is one of my faves there)- but I’m a voracious reader and like a good variety. I doubt I could write in more than 1 or 2 genres – but I will read as many as I can find.

  4. I started out in YA adventure stuff, Famous Five and the like, and then went to fantasy, then to sci fi, and then discovered Mills and Boon. I’m still not really interested in romance novels longer than an afternoon, because I’m always waiting for the ninjas to attack or for something to explode. I have read some, but they were historical so I was more interested in the politics in the background.

  5. Reblogged this on The Writing Catalog and commented:
    I say yes, it is a good idea. At the very least, read some classic literature or something from a different genre that has elements of romance. I read outside my beloved fantasy genre quite often, and I find it profitable. I do have books that I go back to regularly, though. Most of those are either fantasy, nonfiction, or classical lit.

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