Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Sunday Salon

Last week one of the publishers that I work with sent me an unexpected book in the mail: Wither by Lauren DeStefano, the first book in the Chemical Garden Trilogy. My first instinct was to put it aside without a glance. Yup, the cover is really nice, but it is so out of my reading comfort zone. I gravitate towards well-writted chick lit, women's fiction, contemporary fiction, and the odd romance that toes the line of chick lit. I've accepted the fact that I read primarily for pleasure, so I may as well find what I read pleasurable. I don't do vampires or werewolves, I don't read a lot of historical fiction (although I do pick up the odd one and tend to enjoy it), and I dont do bodice-ripping romances. In general, I don't read YA. Or dystopian fiction.

So you can see why I would be inclined to toss this one aside. It has two strikes against it for me- it's both YA and dystopian fiction. But then I started to really consider the book. Sure, it's out of my comfort zone, but sometimes the best reads, the ones that stick with me for along time after I've finished the last page, are the ones that don't fall within my usual guidelines. I remember picking up the first Harry Potter book for a class that I was taking in University. I was skeptical. However, once I had devoured the book I quickly found myself tracking down the next three in the series. And yes, I was one of those chicks that pre-ordered the subsequent releases and then promptly devoured them. I was a Harry Potter convert, and only because I had to read the first book. If I hadn't picked it up, then I would have missed out on the magic of the series.

Perhaps by being close-minded at times when it comes to my reading I've been missing out. I haven't read The Hunger Games series, or The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo trilogy. I've heard great things about both, but haven't been enticed to pick them up yet. In a way I feel that I should stick to what I love to read, so that reading remains a pleasure for me, but in another way I feel that I should occasionally step outside of my reading comfort zone to experience something new. For this reason, I'm going to give Wither a try. Who knows? It could become my new favourite series.

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