It's not news around here that I'm a big reader. If I don't read every day, I get cranky. My "To Read" list is more pages than I care to admit here, again. (If you really want to know, check out Lists Gone Wild.)
Now, I usually say I read across genres and categories but when I looked back at the books I'd read so far this year, I realized this isn't as true as I thought. My go-to genres are historical fiction and mystery/suspense/thriller, in adult and YA/MG categories, and these dominated my choices by far.
After reading an excellent post over at Writer Unboxed - Learning from Reading: Change Up Your Patterns to Gain More by Annie Neugebauer - I realized I'd fallen into a reading rut.
Excellent ideas! So, while I've read - and enjoyed! - a few novels outside my usual genres, like Abby Fabiashi's I Liked My Life (women's fiction/contemporary fiction) and Alex George's Setting Free the Kites (literary fiction/contemporary fiction,) I'm going to make a more concentrated effort to try new genres and formats.
"Experiment with what you’re reading together, too. For years I was utterly convinced that I could only read one book at a time.... Nowadays I routinely have 3-4 books going at once: a paperback novel or collection of shorts, an audiobook, a book of poetry, and a nonfiction book (usually writing craft or research). This strange assortment has inspired some of my finest ideas."
Every once in awhile, I'll add a nonfiction title or a story collection to the novel I'm reading but I usually stick with flipping through magazines. But nothing says I can't settle in with a poem or two instead, right?
Ms. Neugebauer's post has lots of other ideas - too many to mention here! - and I recommend giving it a read. And, in case you can't decide which of her tricks to try, take heart:
"I admit to my stubbornness and foibles here because each time I settled into a pattern, I was convinced I’d found the right one. I realize now, looking at it with a wider lens, that that’s because it was the act of switching up my pattern that sparked the good stuff. Every single reading method, practice, format, and habit is valid and valuable – but none so much as trying them all."
Are you ready to shake up your reading habits? What will you do first? Anything you'd like to recommend - author, title, format?