Change. New. Unknown.

Change. New. Unknown.

What kind of emotions do those words stir in you? Do you feel a bubble of excitement rising? Or maybe your stomach just sank and the blood drained from your face? Maybe your response was somewhere between those extremes, or maybe you’re wondering what the context is. After all, the context could make all the difference, couldn’t it?

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Fearless Readers: Break Out of Your Comfort Zone

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We readers are creatures of habit and some of us are downright compulsive when it comes to our books (and that’s okay, this is a safe space) but don’t allow your comfort zone to become a reading rut! Let’s walk through a few options for revitalizing your reading routine. Be brave, friend, the reward is worth the risk for fearless readers!

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Are you a one-genre loyalist? Try something new! If you’re a little nervous, choose an author you enjoy who consistently writes in multiple genres or one who has crossed over from your favorite genre to something new. Another way to diversify your reading is to pick up a time slip (books with more than one timeline, usually featuring both a contemporary and a historical plot which are somehow intertwined) or a book from a different subgenre (ex. romantic comedy or Amish suspense).

Does size really matter? It shouldn’t! There are excellent, well-crafted stories in all lengths and formats. Big books, short stories, novellas, multi-author collections, flash fiction, multi-book series, and of course, individual standalone titles. Plus, there’s the consideration between mass paperback dimensions versus the larger trade versions. Sure, there’s something for everyone but why not try a new size? You may find it’s the perfect fit for your mood or time frame.

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Not to start a debate here because we all know die-hard readers in each camp but for those of us who want to maximize our story time, it makes sense to utilize all available mediums. Traditionalists will continue to cling to (and sniff) their print copies but why not add an ebook app on your smartphone or tablet or pick up an ereader to streamline your library? Audiobooks make multitasking a breeze and stories while traveling are no longer limited by motion sickness.

We all have our favorite authors but finding a new favorite is a special kind of bookish delight. Risking your reading time on an unknown author can be scary but there are a few ways to make an informed decision. Let someone else do the heavy lifting for you! Ask your local librarian, find a book blogger or professional review source (tah-dah, you found us!) and get to know some hard-core reviewers. If they like books you like, chances are their picks will be a good fit for you!

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When it comes to enriching your reading experience, there’s a special bond among readers so connect with your fellow book lovers on social media or in person! Share reading recommendations, discuss books, authors, and trends. Consider attending a book club, many authors are even happy to video chat if your group reads one of their books. Find a book signing or reader event and meet your favorite author face-to-face!

Break free, reader friends! Be fearless and fabulous! Happy reading!


Beth is an Associate Editor of Hope By The Book, a Christian fiction enthusiast, book reviewer, and the blogger behind FaithfullyBookish.com. She is passionate about encouraging authors and fellow readers everywhere.