Wednesday 25 May 2016

6 Ways To Read More Widely

Lots of people want to read more widely.

But, as creatures of habit, we tend to get stuck in one genre, niche, or whatever. Here then are some handy-dandy tips for reading more widely.

I'm here to serve, after all :) (and entertain, and be totally random, and possibly scare you.)

1. Confuse the f**k outta Goodreads.

If you're generally bookish, you will already know of Goodreads.

If not, then welcome to bookishness! Let me take your coat and strap you to the table! (That was a joke - please don't run off.)

Goodreads is basically social-networking for books. It's addictive and demands your soul as a blood-price :) I'm currently about three souls in debt.

I have generally succeeded in f**king up my Goodreads recs. This was done by a combination of random reading habits, and adding pretty much every major genre to 'favourites.'

As a result, Goodreads now throws me recs for pretty much every book on the planet.

The downside to this, unfortunately, is that there is no rhyme or reason to my recs. This can be irritating and unhelpful sometimes - like, when I'm in a certain mood and none of these books fit that!

But, I have also found some randomly awesome stuff this way.

2. Explore a new genre.

I wasn't a fan of YA contemporary novels, but my fellow book bloggers infected me with their never-ending enthusiasm for the genre, and I'm currently on a bit of a YA contemporary binge.

And you know what? I'm actually enjoying it.

So don't be afraid to leap head-first out of your comfort zone.

If there's a genre that you want to give a try, try looking up lists of recommended titles on Goodreads or do a Google search, and see what catches your eye.

3. Explore a new author.

You've heard absolutely loads about [insert flavour-of-the-month author here] but you don't think they've written anything you'll enjoy.

Don't force yourself to read something if it patently isn't for you, but also take a look at the author's back-catalogue, and read the synopses of some of their books.

I thought I wouldn't like Rainbow Rowell, but tried out Carry On because it looked most like the sort of stuff I enjoyed. Ditto with Jodi Picoult and Salem Falls.

And you might end up actually finding an author you click with as a result, or at the very least an interesting read.

4. Browse.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it's still worth a shot.

Go into your local library or bookshop and just browse. Pick up books at random and look at their synopses.

Buy/borrow (dependent on whether it's a library or a shop, obviously,) any that aren't too expensive and you like the look of.

Be brave and don't be afraid to give something new a try - you might find a gem.

5. Indulge your guilty pleasures.


If you enjoy something - enjoy it. And people who claim to be 'well-read' but poke their noses up at 'lesser' or genre books?

They aren't well-read. They're just jerks :)

I used to feel uber-self-conscious at reading things that were seen as trashy etc. But I've decided I'm not going to feel guilty any more.


6. Take recommendations from a variety of sources.

If you listen to the bookish interweb chatter, or just your friend who's raving about the latest bestseller, you're likely to come across something you haven't heard of before.

And you might just be tempted to give it a whirl ;)

What about you guys? Any tips for reading more widely?

Like this post? Try these:


  1. I love your list! I always like to read so many different things. I'll go from a historical romance to ya contemporary and then to magical realism in just a matter of days. A great way to diversify your reading would also be by doing challenges :)

    Aeriko @ The Reading Armchair

    1. Why thank you :)

      And yeah... I'm terrible at challenges (bar the Goodreads one, ofc) but I can see how it'd work for a lot of people (maybe people who aren't so easily distracted...) :D

  2. Hi! I loved reading this blog post. I've recently started reading novels and I love it. These are great tips. :)

    1. well thank you very much for the lovely comment :)

  3. YES YA CONTEMPORARY! *chuckles evilly* well I hope the infection was worth it for you! I think I'd like to read more horror lit. I'm such a scaredy cat, so I need something to get used to the genre. These are great tips!

    1. Yeah... you're one of the people I'm blaming for this :P but you probably guessed that ;)

      I love horror!!!!! (Sorry, mildly-evil goth side brimming through) Hmmm... maybe try some of the more sci-fi-leaning Stephen King? 'The Stand' is dystopian-y... but then, it is one of the longest books I've ever read in my life. It's over 1k pages. Or you could try some Susan Hill - more traditional ghost-story-ish.

      Ooh! I know! You could try Hollow Pike (about witches but slightly more horror than paranormal) or Say Her Name (about Bloody Mary - I'm reading it atm,) by Juno (James) Dawson. YA Horror might be the place to start, since you usually like YA, and Juno Dawson rocks. :)

  4. That's why I follow so many book bloggers! Because they all read different things and then in turn, I'm always getting more book recommendations from a wide variety of genres. I really like the idea of mixing up Goodreads as well though ;)

  5. I love this post! I've just recently started a goal to read a book from every country around the world after watching a TED talk...just to read more diverse books. It really changes perspective and introduces new worlds.


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