Reading Outside Your Bubble – by Jaq D. Hawkins…

Readers all have their favourite genres. For some, they mostly stick to one or two. Others read a broad spectrum, everything from Literary to Horror, including non-fiction might appeal to them.

I’ve written before about cultural references; A certain segment of society will know you mean a brand of boots when you refer to Doc Martens or will be able to visualise what sort of gun you mean when you use the term, Glock. However, there is always a chance that someone who is outside of this familiarity bubble will read your book and the assumption that all readers will connect with these references can leave a reader confused or foisted out of the story to go look up what you’re talking about.

Context is everything. Someone reading a crime thriller who sees ‘glock’ will probably understand it’s a gun, but a brief reference to a semi-automatic pistol would put them more in the picture. Doc Martens, on the other hand, might well be a brand name they’ve never come across and adding the word ‘boots’ would clarify the mental image, while referring to them as good quality rather than by the brand name would instil universal understanding.

In these days of bookclubs and reader groups, someone who doesn’t normally read in your genre may well give it a try as part of a group read. This is something I do myself, participating in groups of general readers and I have to say, I’ve come across some amazing stories this way that might not have attracted me otherwise. However, if understanding of unfamiliar terms had been assumed, I might well have enjoyed them less.

One thing I learned when round robin reviews were still allowed was that a reader who doesn’t normally read certain genres is less likely to find as much enjoyment of the book you give them as someone who prefers that genre. I still have a couple of mediocre reviews on my first Fantasy book from learning that lesson.

This is especially true of Fantasy, Science Fiction and Horror, which I enjoy, and also of Romance, which I generally don’t, though there are exceptions. I’m also not usually a Mystery reader, but I’ve been reading a good one set in Venice, which has increased my interest as it’s a favourite location for me. But just as I wouldn’t recommend a favourite werewolf book to someone who doesn’t enjoy Horror, unless they ask for one to push their parameters, I generally take little notice of recommendations in the genres I don’t tend to enjoy.

The thing is, when I push those parameters and read outside of my favoured bubble, I often find real treasures. I’ve started one recently for a group read that would normally put me off in the first couple of chapters because it starts with a depressing situation; someone has died, a marriage is failing, that sort of thing. Only the protagonist is going to travel in small town Italy and the blurb promises a journey of discovery, so I’m pushing past the depressing beginning in hopes of a story I will thoroughly enjoy by the end. Experience tells me that this is a definite possibility.

With Spring and Summer holidays looming, people will be choosing books to read on planes, beaches and between excursions. These are often lighter reads of a sort some of us wouldn’t choose at other times of the year, but they can be very entertaining and are usually not overly long or convoluted.

It’s a perfect opportunity to push those parameters and try something a little new to you. An old time circus book? A gothic mystery? Perhaps even a popular beach read that doesn’t fit into your usual fare.

What books do you usually choose? Have you tried pushing out of your bubble for different genres? Tell us of any great stories you’ve found by reading outside of those usual parameters.

Jaq D Hawkins

Books available at:

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13 thoughts on “Reading Outside Your Bubble – by Jaq D. Hawkins…

  1. I love the enthusiasm of “Roberta writes” where anything goes. “You keep going and enjoying all”. Plaudits to you Roberta. I love reading, sadly I do not like reading “Anything” The phone book is rather dull even when there is an amusing name that some, sad someone must live with. “Wiltinflower Indebin” is a great name. Teresa Green, G. Howie Phartz and so many more.
    I also dislike weather forecasts. Always wrong and not what I wish to read. I also have a downer on astrology, and bad journalism. Other than that, I am with Roberta and most here, I love reading. (Lol- in all genres). I tend to jump genres all the time in favour (British and so correctly spelled no matter what you Americans may think) of a delightful story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m a multi-reader and like to have different genres in progress so I can switch it up a bit depending on my mood at the time.

      The phone book is definitely lacking in cohesive plot, though I remember looking up unusual names many years ago.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi Jaq, I love all books so I would’t ever say there is any genre I don’t read. I read less romance, fantasy, and Sci-fi than I read drama, literary fiction, horror, paranormal, historical, and dystopia. I also read children’s books and poetry. I write fantasy for children and paranormal and history for adults as well as horror. I follow the idea and not the genre.

    Liked by 3 people


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