Recently I walked into my local bookstore and asked the manager, who is a fine, fine fellow who supports his local authors, for a referral to a good horror author. I knew he’d give me a good ref because he himself writes horror fiction, so he knows the genre.
He picked out a book by a well-known horror author, praising it as the best of his works. I took it home and ran through it eagerly.
Didn’t like it. At all. I even went so far as to pick up the sequel, since the first book stops at a rather annoying spot, to see if it was redeemable in my eyes.
Not. At. All.
The two books are now enroute to my sister, who does like the horror genre and will probably enjoy the books.
Now, what did I learn?
Well… just that I don’t like horror. Not that this particular author is a "bad" writer, or any such pronouncement coming from my lips. I know that life is short enough that dissing people or genres or anything is not only bad karma, but a waste of my time. I thought I’d venture out from my usual reading habits and give something else a try. Now I can truthfully say that I’ve read some horror, but it’s not for me. It’s not a "bad" genre; the authors are not ‘orrible people, yatta yatta yatta, but it’s just not a genre I enjoy writing or reading in.
I think it’s important to step out of the comfort box every once in a while, just to see if there’s something out there that you haven’t tried. I find myself edging more towards romance and urban fantasy and away from science fiction these days, but that’s a slow evolution. I dashed out to see if I liked horror – not my cuppa tea. Which is fine.
So… why not take a chance sometime soon and buy a book that’s out of your zone? Pick up that trashy romance you’ve been eyeing, grab that horror novel with the cool cover… snag that nonfiction book that looks dreadfully boring but you have an undying curiosity about what’s inside.
You just might be pleasantly surprised.