Bust out of your genre…Read Harder!

Book groups are wonderful for many reasons: intelligent discussion,  wine and snacks, socializing with friends, having a book on tap all year. For me, I love the fact that book clubs force me to read books outside of my preferred genre. I love literary fiction and creative non-fiction. I could happily read short stories or philosophical novels every day for the rest of my life, but as a librarian that really limits me. Everyone has a genre they shy away from or don’t like, often due to an unfortunate, possibly forced read. Just like music, you can settle into one type of book and happily ignore the rest. Before joining a book club, I couldn’t stand Westerns, Mysteries, YA, Science Fiction or Political titles. After 5 years in our group, I could recommend a great book in each of these genres.

Book clubs require a commitment that I find hard to stick to. I am a slow reader, and a fickle one, so it can be tough only reading what the club has planned. I have largely recused myself from my group over the past year simply because I don’t have the time required to dedicate to these books and meetings. But I miss stepping out of my element! So in 2016 I will be choosing my reading lists based on Book Riot’s “Read Harder” challenge.

The Challenge is based around 24 reading “tasks” that encourage research and a lot of faith. If you fulfill all 24 tasks you can enter a contest through Book Riot for prizes. Tasks range from listening to an award winner audiobook to reading a book written by an author from Southeast Asia, to reading a horror novel. You can find the complete list here, and more information about the Challenge here. I will post the books I will be reading as I complete the form.

Let me know if you give this a shot!