If you’re an avid reader, then you undoubtedly have a favorite genre, something you can curl up with and know for certain that you’re going to be able to enjoy. Fantasy could be your go-to, maybe you only read casual romance, or perhaps you only ever read non-fiction. There’s nothing wrong with having a favorite genre, but with an amazing world of writers, ideas and viewpoints out there, there are a ton of reasons why you should encourage yourself to sometimes step out of your comfort zone and read something you normally wouldn’t. Here’s why. 

You Can Find Something to Indulge in Which Better Relaxes You 

There’s a lot of pressure on people who enjoy reading to say that they’ve read the biggest and best – and not only read them but understood and enjoyed them. You might be drowning under your literary classic to-be-read pile and forcing yourself to only ever read those books you believe society pressures you into, like Shakespeare or To Kill a Mockingbird. 

However, trying to read War and Peace before bed might not do anything to help you relax – especially if it feels like an obligation. Trying more indulgent genres, like quirky romantic comedies, might be something you’d enjoy a million times more – and there’s no shame in reading what you love. 

It Can Help You to Understand Other World Views, Such as Religion

You don’t have to follow a religion yourself to want to learn more about it or to learn enough to better respect what other religious teachings are about. By broadening your reading scope to include those that deal with different cultures and religions, you’re enabling yourself to see stories and the world from another perspective. These Christian fiction books are an example of how you can enjoy genres you might usually read but with a different religious viewpoint.

It Can Help You Empathize More

If you’re only reading one type of genre, then chances are you’re only experiencing the thoughts and feelings of a certain type of person or people. Although one standalone genre can have people of many ages and walks of life, you’re limiting yourself when it comes to understanding the different experiences of people from around the world (or from made-up ones!). By broadening the genres you read, such as non-fiction autobiographies of real-life experiences, you’re building your empathy skills

You Can Learn So Much More 

At the end of the day, expanding your knowledge through reading is only going to happen the more different genres you read. If you’re sticking to one or two genres, then you’re putting a cap on what you can learn in regard to different experiences, scenarios, and new facts. Branching out to explore different genres is the only way you can learn more about the world – even if the books are works of fiction, you’re learning more about how a new author translates different characters to the page. 

Non-fiction books are also essential for teaching yourself new skills or learning more about important world topics.