Diversifying my reading life has been an ongoing struggle for me. I always feel like I want to explore different genres and authors but I always have this fear that I will not enjoy it. I know this happens to all readers multiple times throughout their lives but it is one of the worse things for me. When I read a book that I do not like or I am having a hard time getting through, I feel like I have wasted time even trying this book when I could have been reading something inside my comfort zone that I know I would like. However, the opposite can be said. When reading inside my comfort zone, I find myself wondering what it would be like to expand more. I have been working on it but always find myself going back to what I know I will like. I guess that is why it is called the comfort zone, huh?
One goal I have enforced this year is forcing myself to read a book outside my comfort zone at least once a month. The most diverse novels for me are historical fiction or nonfiction. These are books I would never pick up in the past but I have been forcing myself to read through them. One nonfiction book I read this semester is I Have the Right To by Chessy Prout. I am still looking for more historical fiction novels so if you have any suggestions, please leave them in the comments!
I believe it is so important for students to read diverse novels because it can expose them to different situations that they might not have thought about otherwise. In order to have students want to read diversely, I need to be an example. I can not tell my students to read books outside of their comfort zone when I refuse to. Also, by reading outside my comfort zone, I am able to recommend more books to students who may have different reading preferences than my own. In the classroom, it can help students read more diversely if they are surrounded by a variety of books. This can be done by having different genres throughout the classroom library. I can also find out what they usually read and give them suggestions about books outside their comfort zone. This can be successful or not but it is important that they keep reading!