25 Sept 2014

DISCUSSION: Reading Widely

I've noticed a lot of videos and articles about the topic of being 'well read' and what it means to read widely lately so I thought I'd put my own two cents in. For the purpose of this discussion, I'm defining 'well read' as reading in a variety genres and a variety of authors and writing styles.

I don't know if I'd define myself as well read. According to Goodreads, I've read 452 books which is only counting the ones I remember. By some people's standards- that's a lot, and by others it's not. I'm proud of that number, but I admit that probably about 95% of those books would be considered YA books. I'm not embarrassed by that at all- I love YA and I'm not ashamed of that. It's just recently I've realised that it's time to branch out a little.

I'm not going to stop reading YA (I still have about 400 unread YA books on my shelf to get through!), but I'd like to start exploring some other genres as well. Currently, outside of YA, I read a few classics and I read crime novels- like Agatha Christie, Ian Rankin and some others. I'd like to try some more classics and crime novels, but also some adult science fiction, fantasy and historical fiction. I'd like to look at more poetry, plays, short stories and essays that I wouldn't pick up normally. I've been slowly starting to do this. I visited a bookshop about a month ago now and left with five books- none of which were YA and I was very proud of myself. (Granted I haven't read any of them yet.) I know there are going to be some things that I'll never be interested in- I'm not a romance fan (including New Adult) and literary fiction doesn't really interest me either, but I'm willing to try pretty much anything else.

Now, there is an actual point to this post. Firstly, I want to know if I'm the only one who does this? You don't necessarily have to be YA obsessed like me, but is there a particular genre that you stick to? Secondly, and possibly most importantly- I want recommendations! I'll look into anything in the aforementioned genres (and Middle Grade) so share with me some of your favourite books.

Thank you for reading my little sort of rant thing there- I hope it actually makes sense to someone other than me. I hope you're all having a wonderful day and I will see you tomorrow with another post!


  1. I have always read whatever I could get my hands on as a kid, often reading things maybe a bit old for my eyes but the habit stuck and I read just about every genre so of course I have some recommendations for you!
    - Reluctantly Charmed by Ellie O'Neill. They call this 'magical realism' and it was pretty cute and funny!
    - Lyrebird Hill by Anna Romer. An interesting mystery of a house called Lyrebird Hill, with two storylines, a historical one and a present day one. Australian author!
    - After Darkness by Christine Piper. Set during the war, story of a Japanese doctor in an internment camp in Australia.
    - On The Beach by Nevil Shute. The whole world has been destroyed by radioactive bombs and Melbourne is the last city left. Chronicles the last few weeks before the end of the world. Incredibly moving.
    - SHERLOCK HOLMES. All of them!
    - Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloane. Its about a bookstore! With a loyal customer base who come in at odd hours, but nobody buys anything....
    - Capricornia by Xavier Herbert. An Australian epic, a big one at like 600 pages. Tells the story of two brothers living in the top end in the years between the world wars. Aboriginal issues and race relations.
    - The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan for short stories and essays, written by a 21 year old American.
    - Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt (MG)

    Is that enough? I have more! Haha

    1. Oh Brit, you are glorious!

      Out of all of those, I've only read one which is Tuck Everlasting. I just added all of these books to my Goodreads wishlist, and I'm definitely going to check them out as soon as I can find them! I'm hoping my library has got a copy of a few of them.

      Thanks Brit!!!

      x Ely

  2. Like you Ely, I like to read other genres outside of YA as well - even though the vast majority of my selections are within it. A while ago I read 'Murder on the Orient Express' by Agatha Chrisite, if I'm looking for something creepy to keep me on the edge of my seat Stephen King's novels are always there, and for historical fiction Philippa Gregory or Hilary Mantel are quite well known, and classics I love have so far come from F. Scott Fitzgerald and of course Jane Austen.

    It's always great to try new things, thanks for sharing your thoughts in this post!

    Eugenia @ Genie In A Book

  3. I am pretty much a 100% YA reader, and I don't ever plan on changing that. Sure, I've read a few adult fiction novels and some classics and I have adored some of these - but I will always and forever fall back on YA. Simply because I love it, and everything it encompasses. Sure, this might change in the future, and I might want to broaden my reading horizons a little more than I do at the moment, but at this time, I'm happy with reading mostly YA with one non-YA book once in a blue moon.

    That being said, I have two book suggestions for you my lovely! :D

    One of my all time favourite books is The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin. The MC is 19, but it's adult fiction. It's perfection, really. The fantasy and the storyline and the characters and the writing style just made me fall in love from the get go. Granted, the beginning is a bit weird because Jemisin kind of invents a completely new way of story telling, but stick with it because it is SO WORTH IT.

    My second rec is Attachments by Rainbow Rowell. Again adult fiction, but this time contemporary. It's such a beautiful story and the characters are completely amazing and I adore this book.

    I hope you check out these books because they are definitely worth it and good luck in expanding your reading material! <3

  4. I think I read reasonably widely in the sense that I read from most genres, but I go through phases of reading one for a longer period of time before switching it up, and I know there are certain genres I practically avoid altogether (classics, sci-fi, thriller etc.).