Just a quick few lines that I have been pondering for some time.
I think we all get stuck on certain authors. I was never more aware of this than the last trip I made to our local Used Book Store in Palmdale, CA -- The Little Book Bug Bookstore -- when I was looking for some books by my usual favorite authors. Guess what: they weren't there. They are favorite authors of lots of other people, and as I stood by those shelves looking at the other books being offered, I became aware of how limited my "favorite author" list really was.
I know I definitely have my literary comfort zones. There are just some kinds of books I don't like nearly as well as others. But by virtue of my reviewing hobby, I have read sci-fi (which I would never have chosen on my own) and lots of paranormal romance (which has gradually become more and more a favorite of mine) and I see my tastes changing and my comfort zones expanding. Now that has not always been an easy transition. Expanding comfort zones is sort of like doing a new exercise: you use muscles you had forgotten you had. Mental expansion is very much like that, and I don't enjoy it anymore than the next person. But I have learned that not to allow new ideas and new ways of enjoying the world of fiction is to miss out on so much creativity that is absolutely mind-boggling in its scope and beauty.
Those of us who review and have book blogs certainly have to appreciate the creativity of the authors whose books we read. And I think we have to be creative in expressing our feelings about those books. I have come to believe that if I don't keep on opening myself to new genres and greater exposure to some kinds of books I have previously avoided, then I limit my own ability to be creative. I have to admit that I have read some books that have been very oblique in their message. As I try to get my mind around what their story is relating, I find that mental stretching very satisfying. And at my age, the ability to do any kind of stretching is a victory.
So here is a question I am posing: How have each of us expanded our literary comfort zones in the past months or years?
I would love to hear your responses.