A lot of us are pretty pedestrian with our reading tastes – if there’s something we like then we tend to stick to it, come hell or high water. But it’s a good idea to expand your tastes and broaden your horizons every once in a while – maybe you’re sick of reading about romance, or all the crime novels you read are getting a little bit dark for you, or you want to encourage your kids to read more widely. Whatever the reason behind it, here’s how to branch out into fantasy…
Check Out Book Blogs Online
One of the best ways to get inspiration about what to read next is by looking online at what other people are reading. Book blogging and vlogging is getting increasingly more popular these days – we’re used to hearing about makeup hauls on YouTube, but book hauls are also a thing. Book bloggers will give you great hints and tips about what to read next and what’s coming out.
Take Inspiration From Famous Novelists
You might not have guessed it before, but there are lots of famous novelists who love fantasy just as much as they love literary fiction. We all know that JK Rowling is just as good at writing crime novels with her Robert Galbraith series as she is at writing about boy wizards in Harry Potter, but you might not know that Margaret Atwood, best known for The Handmaid’s Tale, and Joanne Harris, who wrote Chocolat, are also fantasy novelists. Getting to play in an extended fantasy world means that they can write about topics and themes that they could only have dreamed about in more traditional literary fiction.
Go For Urban Fantasy, Not High Fantasy
Remember that you don’t immediately have to go for faux-medieval fantasy fiction if you want to expand your horizons. Going from kitchen sink novels or Jane Austen to dragons and castles is a big leap for anyone. Before that, why not try out some urban fantasy instead? Urban fantasy is set in our world, in modern day London or New York City or even in small town America, but with a twist – there’s something going on under the surface. A lot of urban fantasy novels are books that will creep into your dreams and stay there for a long time.
Open Your Mind A Little
Finally, the only real barrier to reading fantasy books is in your own mind. If you really want to expand your horizons then the truth is that you just have to make the decision to pick up a book that you wouldn’t otherwise have gone for. No one’s saying that you need to immediately become the sort of person who wants to read about dragons after a lifetime of reading Carol Shields and Elizabeth Strout, but if you want to have a wider range of fiction to read and you want to get into fantasy then the only real way is to start learning how to suspend your disbelief. The best way to do that is to focus on the humanity of the characters you’re reading about and the way they’re reacting to the things that are happening to them, rather than any fantastical elements that aren’t your thing as much. Happy reading!