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3 Reasons Why You Should Read Widely (+ a May Book Haul)

Updated: Jun 11, 2023


Stack of books.

Throughout my teen years all I read was YA Fantasy. By the time I reached my senior year I was sick of it. I have nothing against the genre now, a few of the books from the haul are YA Fantasy, but at the time I felt stuck. I had siloed myself into this one genre and never strayed from the teen section at Indigo.


Then I realized if I was already reading books like Unless by Carol Shields, and The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver for book reports, what was stopping me from reading more widely in my personal life?


Oh, right...me. I was stopping myself.


For the next few years I refused to buy anything YA and I really wanted to explore different genres and authors. This is how I found myself reading Brene Brown, The Secret History by Donna Tartt, and the entire Dark Tower series by Stephen King.


Now, when I say I want to read more widely, it's taken on a different meaning. I want to read about diverse characters: poc, bipoc, LGBTQIA+, and more. I want to explore genres I've skipped over as well as some new favourites.


Why Reading Widely Is So Important


1 | The Power of Diverse Thought

The number one reason I read so purposefully outside of my comfort zone and seek out new genres and authors is because I strongly believe in the power of diverse opinions and perspectives.


We all know someone we consider to be narrow-minded. Even we might have been so as children. We all have our own internal biases. But as we get older, meet new people, and learn new things, our view of the world grows with us.


We've seen how powerful it is to have more women in executive positions, more people from diverse backgrounds and cultures in our businesses and our lives. I grew up in a mixed family. It wasn't difficult to notice how differently I saw the world compared to my classmates, even as young as six years old.


Diversity has allowed me to appreciate the life I had growing up. It has allowed me learn more about myself and discover all the depths of my autistic and neurodivergent self. It has allowed me to accept and understand others. We need more diversity in every aspect of our lives, including the books we read and the media we consume.


2 | The Power of Knowledge

The second reason why reading more diversely is important is because "knowledge is power," is basically my life's mantra. Reading is one of the easiest ways to learn something new. It has improved my grammar and vocabulary, and in turn my writing skills. I am a better writer because I read.


But more than that, I love the overlap in learning and knowledge. More often than not knowledge crosses fields and industries and interests. My knowledge of photography links to my graphic design skills, which can overlap with my interest in interior design and minimalism. When I read about sociology, psychology, and all the self-help books I own, I connect it with my writing. And when I craft out characters, being able to put myself in their shoes and take on different perspectives, has helped me put myself in the shoes of clients when I worked at Spark@SLC.


Knowledge is power because it teaches us new ways of thinking.


3 | The Power of Words

Now I have a whole post about this here. But writing and words changed my life for the better. I have always loved reading and escaping into fantasy worlds. And that quickly grew into an interest in writing my own stories and worlds. It's something I can always go back to, a pick me up, a special interest I can get lost in for hours. And reading more diversely has let me explore different topics and concepts that I can now apply to my own writing. It all comes full circle, I think. The more I read, the better my writing becomes.


Now it's time for the fun part...the Book Haul!


Self-Help/Non-Fiction


101 Essays That Will Change The Way You Think by Brianna Wiest

Ok, this book has been on my tbr list for years. No exaggeration. But it was never available at Indigo, even online in paperback. Thanks to TikTok growing it's popularity I not only found it online, but at my local Indigo store on the shelves.


I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn't) by Brene Brown

Yes, it is my goal in life to read all of Brene Brown's books. Have I read the last Brene Brown book I bought Dare to Lead? No. Did I buy another one anyway? Absolutely.


Diverse Fantasy


Incendiary by Zoraida Córdova

Alright I wanted to buy more books on my diverse-fantasy-tbr list on StoryGraph, but none of the others were available in store, or they were only in hardcover. And I was trying to spend my money wisely, ok.


I was hooked as soon as I read the summary for this one because I actually had a similar idea for a story of my own (and since that is not going to get written any time soon, why not read about a similar concept from an awesome author instead?).


Fantasy


Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

Did I buy this because I saw the beautiful cover on a TikTok? Yes, yes I did.


It is one of the very few YA books I've been interested in for a while. I haven't read many urban fantasy novels, but I have always wanted to read a good star-crossed lovers story.


Hall of Smoke by H. M. Long

I discovered this author on TikTok (notice the reoccurring theme here?). And I thought, what better way to read more diversely and widely than to support debut authors? And you just can't go wrong with warriors, gods, demons, and impending powers about to wake up now can you?


Sci-Fi


Nophek Gloss by Essa Hansen

After an unfortunate realization that I have never read any sci-fi, paired with an interest in reading more LGBTQIA books, I quickly added this book to my tbr. Then quickly went ahead and bought it during my impulse trip to the book store.


Mythology


Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

Norse Mythology has always been within on my radar, but I hadn't committed to buying it yet. Then I realized there was only one copy left in store and I just had to search the shelves and buy it. I've always had an interest in mythology from several different cultures, but after reading Circe I think I really want to read more books about all the old tales and myths.


Lore Olympus: Volume One by Rachel Smythe

Finding this book in the store was an adventure. It wasn't in the section it was supposed to be in. So I gave up and purchased the previous seven books. Only to be leaving the store and see it sitting on the very front table that I totally skipped over when I first arrived.


Needless to say I went straight back up to the cash and bought a copy of Lore Olympus. I've never actually read a graphic novel before, so I'm really excited to get started on this one.


That's all for now! Thanks for reading.

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