Should we read outside our favourite genre?

Well, should we? Or is it an exercise in futility?
Let’s see. Why do we read fiction?
To get entertained.
To immerse ourselves into other worlds and for that time lose ourselves into another existence.
We watch movies or plays for much the same reasons.
Now some readers are quite flexible and able to enjoy all sorts of fiction.
Are you one of those?
Most readers though have their particular favourite flavour.
I belong to that category. I’m a diehard romance reader and there’s no better way of unwinding for me than taking up a shiny new genre book and forgetting everything else for some hours. I can read murder mysteries with relish too, though the drawback is you can’t quite put one down without knowing the end. That plays havoc with your daily routine.
When taking up thrillers or other genres, I find they can be enjoyed in small doses but I tire of them quickly.

Have you felt like that? So keeping that in mind, would it better if we just don’t step out of our preferred niche? If we stick to what we enjoy most?

Am I wasting my time reading other books that most probably I won’t read with much fervour? With so many books around I don’t lack for choice. So maybe I should concentrate on enjoyment and not exploration?

Here’s my two sides of the debate. Do share your thoughts in the comments.

Pros of reading your favourite genre fiction:
Entertainment value
Well, that’s pretty much obvious.
Must for writers
To learn :
Structure
Reader expectation
What has being done What’s trending
Finding like minded friends

Cons of reading the same genre
Becoming niche You’ll lose sight of the new happenings in other genres.
Writers beware! Like a dish which is bland without spices, your reading experience is pallid without exploring other genres. Reading vastly different genres like sci fi and romance can  provide you with that twist in your fiction and new ideas with which to refresh your story. (Check out my sci fi story in collection Unexpected Valentines. Readers have really loved it.)
Bored with it We need change. We can’t eat pizza everyday. Well, maybe some of us can! My kids for instance. But getting a balanced diet is important too.

The good thing is we have crossover or combination genre fiction to tide you over the change and gently take you out of your favourite genre. Want thrills and romance? There’s romantic suspense. Paranormal historical? Fantasy romance? You name it, it’s probably been done three hundred times already.  If not, you could have a go at it.

Which is your favourite genre? Do you like to explore different genres? Are you comfortable stepping out of your favourite literature zone?

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