For years people who came to my place for the first time and looked at my books would be confused. First of all the amount of them would freak people out as they never seem to take me for a reader anyway but also the selection. I'll pretty much read anything.
Now I haven't always been that way. When I was growing up I pretty much only read Stephen King. Sure, they made me read stuff by dutch authors in school but I only read that cause I had to. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't that I didn't like anything else, it just never occurred to me to try it. And why should I? There were enough books for me to read that I knew I would enjoy. So I would only add a new author to my reading list if I'd had exhausted the works of whatever author I was into at the time. So for a long time I didn't really expand my reading selection a lot. Only doing that when I had to.
Then one day when I was flying from London to Amsterdam my flight got delayed and my I finished my book before my flight was even boarding. As it wasn't sure when we would start boarding and there was no bookstore near the gate I was waiting at I was stuck without a book. Or rather, I did have some books that I picked up for a friend. She's an English girl that lives in Amsterdam and had given me a list of books to pick up (this is pre internet ordering. Yes, I'm that old ;) ). So technically I was only "without a book I like".
Now for some reason she decided to give me a list of romance novels so I was stuck with 7 of those. As the delay was taking ever longer I eventually opened one of them and started reading and... exactly as I expected, I hated it! Seriously, I forced myself to read the first chapter but then really couldn't handle it anymore. But about 30 minutes later I was so bored that I decided to give another one of the books a try. Again, a romance novel but this one was much better than the first one. I found myself actually getting into the book and before I knew it we were boarding, took off and landed and I was home having finished the book.
That moment though was when something changed. Although I have always known we can't see whether or not we like something (or can do something for that matter) until we've tried it, it wasn't until that moment that the message finally sunk in.
So after that day I changed something in my book shopping habits. I'd still go to the shop to get the books I knew I would like but I also forced myself to pick a book from an author I had never read before, preferably a genre I hadn't read before. I also forced myself to read the first 2 chapters of every book. The first chapter was usually enough for me to figure out whether or not I liked the book but I wanted to make certain that I gave them all a fair chance.
That led me to increase the number of books I read tremendously and led to the surprised looks of first time visitors. Mystery, psychology, horror, history, fantasy, photography, sci-fi, travel and yes, even romance. They all share the space on my bookshelves and do so in perfect harmony.
So based on what I said, give other genres a chance. You may have to try a couple of books/authors before you find something you like but chances are you will find eventually find authors/books that you like in all genres.
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