Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Stepping Out of the Comfort Zone

We all have our comfort zones. We have stores we like to shop in. We have shows we like to watch. We have books and authors we like to read. So tempt us or tease us with new authors and new genres and we’ll still hesitate.

Discovering New Authors

There are many ways to discover a new author. For example, you may meet them via a book signing. A few months ago, my daughter went to an American Girl meeting at the local Barnes and Noble, a young lady, just fifteen years old was signing a book she wrote about how she and her family came to America. My daughter was fascinated. They spent thirty minutes talking and she autographed the book for her, a book that my daughter eagerly read when she came home.

More than a year ago, I stopped in at another Barnes and Noble where an author by the name of Rick Riordan was signing books. I listened to him talk while I was browsing, the more I listened, the more interested I became. I ended up picking up two of his books – Percy Jackson and the Lighting Thief and Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters. I gave the books to my nephew and he fell in love. I’ve since read them and love them too,

Similarly I’ve discovered other authors including Candace Havens, Rosemary Clement-Moore, Michele Bardsley and more – just by going to book signings. Funnily enough, I found Dakota Cassidy completely by ‘accident’. My mother-in-law checked out The Accidental Werewolf because the blurb on the back made her laugh out loud.

It made me laugh too!

Recommended by the Ones You Love

My husband is another great source of new authors. He’s picked out Sherrilyn Kenyon, Patricia Briggs , Rachel Caine and Sharon Shinn – all of which he gave me as presents over the years. He’ll often pick up books on a whim, bringing them home so I can check them out and read them. Some are successful, some are not. In return, I’ve introduced him to Kelley Armstrong and Jim Butcher.

The great part of receiving a book as a gift is that you may never have picked it up for yourself, but since it’s a gift, you have a risk-free ticket to visit that author’s vision. In tough economic times, it’s really hard to turn down a free ride on the imagination train

Over the last couple of years, you can add book bloggers, Twitter and Facebook to my book recommendation sources that expand my comfort zone despite the protests of my bookshelves.

What sources invite you to step outside your comfort zone?

1 comment:

  1. What an interesting topic! I rarely left my comfort zone, as I had to rely on reviews in magazines or newspapers so didn't want to take any chances. Then I went to work for a bookstore and was exposed to so many new authors that I was in heaven! Loved when I worked receiving & could unpack and discover new books!

    Left the bookstore, and by then there were Amazon and Barnes & Noble recommendations, but those weren't always accurate. And I don't remember being able to browse the book back then, so you had to rely on the book blurb.

    Now I'm discovering so many new authors and trying out genres I may never have picked up on my own thanks to reading book blogs, Shelf Awareness, and Twitter! I've also been lucky enough to receive a few ARCs from publishers, so am even more willing to be tempted to try out other genres.

    Great post!

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