I love books. To hold them, read them, or write them, books make me happy. But here’s my dirty little secret: I tend to stay in my comfort zone of fantasy. Over the years I’ve dabbled in other genres, especially historical fiction, often romantic suspense, and sometimes thrillers. Then one day I won a copy of Tessa Dare’s The Scandalous, Dissolute, No-good Mr. Wright and my love of Regency was born.
Since then, I’ve bought Tessa’s entire collection and several other author’s books in the genre. I’m telling you, if you haven’t tried Regency, give it a go!
Tessa Dare’s a member of one of my writing groups and I’m fortunate in the fact that I belong to many groups (most of them associated with Romance Writers of America) and hear about new books all the time. But what if you’re not a writer? How do you find books? There are SO MANY to choose from! Where do you begin?
Word of mouth is great, but there are tons of places online readers can find new books. Goodreads is a fun place to start. Just search for the genre you like and hundreds of of choices will pop up. Scan the reviews, join some groups, interact with other readers, it’s a book lovers paradise. Be careful though, you might lose an entire day just to perusing the lovely book covers. Not that I’ve ever done that, mind you. ;)
And then there are places that make it easy to find new books, like BookPerk. I discovered this gem a few years ago and I’m hooked.
BookPerk is this cool site that sends ‘E-book bargains, giveaways, exclusives, and more—delivered straight to your inbox.’ Most of the books are $1.99, but some are $2.99, and if you look at the list price, you’re getting a great savings. The best part? It’s totally legit! The deals are emailed to you, and you buy them through Amazon, B&N, Apple, Google, Kobo, or Indiebound.
What I love about BookPerk is it gets me to expand my reading beyond my comfort zone. I’ve bought literary fiction, humor, biography, and even a paranormal book because of them.
Another way I’m breaking out of my reading comfort zone is by joining a book club. A friend of mine started a monthly book club where reading the book is mandatory to coming to the meeting. We meet at a restaurant that serves the best cheese plate I’ve ever had, so that’s a compelling reason to read the damn book! Last month we read Hugh Howey’s Wool, and this month we’re reading Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein.
Two totally opposite genres and I love it.
I’m stretching my book tastes and delving into genres I didn’t know I’d enjoy. It’s something I highly suggest everyone try. If you can’t find a book club in your area, Goodreads has many online clubs. The discussions are lively and well-moderated, again, I say give it a go!
As an author, I’m always curious how readers find books. As a reader, I’m always looking for something that will grab me and not let go. Someone once asked me to name my top five favorite books. I couldn’t do it. They change with the seasons of my life. I love them all. At one time or another, they are all my favorites.