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Hello, my lovelies! Yes, this is confession time. Bookish confessions, of course! :) I've been pondering my reading life and realized something I should just own up to out loud (or, you know, in writing, at least). So you may just be horrified when you read the next paragraphs. (Or perhaps not, we shall see.)
So! My bookish confession? Is that I have spent a whole lot of my adult years pretty much determined not to read anything of depth. I loved romantic stories and refused to be willing to even contemplate reading something a little different, something that would require me to think a little harder. Friends would recommend a book that did not fall within my usual genres and I would tell them I was considering reading it when deep down inside I knew I was lying because I'd never read it, nope, not for me. There. I said it. (Wrote it? You know what I mean.) Even as embarrassing as this feels, I want to be honest.
Now. I feel I should clarify what I mean by saying that of all the books I've read over my entire life, there are a lot that have depth, that are so much more than just another romance. (I certainly don't want someone to go look at my Goodreads lists and assume that all those books are shallow!) But the type of books I'm referencing fall under other categories, such as classics, autobiographies, memoirs, and just nonfiction in general. Books by older authors, not contemporary ones. But also contemporary books that aren't just a simple romance.
I don't know if that paragraphs makes any sense, I keep reading over it again and I don't know how to better get my point across. I just know that I'm no longer satisfied to simply read a sweet romance story. Now don't get me wrong! I am not eliminating those books from my TBR altogether! I'm just more willing to honestly try a book that is out of my reading comfort zone, so to speak. I want to read something that will surprise me because so many of the books I've been reading in recent years haven't truly surprised me. Some have, but not most. I want to try another Charles Dickens novel, even if I hate it. I want to read CS Lewis' nonfiction, even if I struggle my way through understanding what he's telling me. I want to read books that will make me think. I've read a whole lot of books that have only entertained me for a few hours, that allowed me to shut off my brain and wallow in make believe. And I still feel like there's a place for those books. I'm not saying that we shouldn't read them. I mean, I just read a couple Jane Austen sequels a couple Sundays ago and they didn't make me think at all, they were just fun.
However, I'm finally tired of only using reading as an escape, I want to allow books and stories to help me understand my world better. They've always done that to a certain extent, but now I want to actively seek it out, not simply stumble over it occasionally.
I want to read out of my comfort zone.
"It is only by struggling with difficult books, books over one's head, that anyone learns to read." ~Mortimer Adler
Probably most of you reading this right now have been reading such for years. I admit to feeling slightly embarrassed that it took me this long to be willing to even entertain the idea in my mind, let alone be willing to challenge myself to actually do it. I should've had this epiphany a long time ago, instead of in my late 30s. But there you go. And here I am. Better late than never, right? (I hope.)
So. I haven't gotten terribly far yet, in attempting this. But I have made a bit of progress. And I'm determined not to give up! What about you? Have you always read out of your typical genres? Have you been more like me and just always gravitated towards what was easier? Or has your reading journey been different than even those two options?
And lastly, how about recommending one of your most favorite books that doesn't fall under the contemporary romance genre! I need more books on my TBR, don't you? ;)