What’s in a book’s age category? I read War and Peace in 7th grade. Watership Down in my 20s. Harry Potter in my late 20s. Never read Anne of Green Gables at all (not that it’s not a fantastic book). Started reading John Grisham novels in middle school. Patricia Cornwell my freshman year of high school. Re-read James and the Giant Peach to my children just a few years ago. I’ve never been one to pass up a book just because it wasn’t necessarily a perfect fit for the age I was, according to its market category.

What’s in a book’s genre? I’ve read all sorts. Granted, I do have limits. I don’t like books with extremely graphic sex or violence, or majorly present cursing. But, I have read a broad spectrum of titles. Romance, fantasy, sci-fi, suspense, mystery, women’s fiction, narrative nonfiction … You get the idea.

So, what’s my point? I have found little gems in novels I might not ordinarily have chosen had I been strict about my age and genre limits. Of course, I found some I had to close before I finished the first chapter, too. But, all in all, I can say I’ve been pleasantly surprised by picking up those books that maybe weren’t exactly what I thought I’d like. Maybe you could try it too? Don’t fence yourself in by what you think might be a good fit. Explore a little outside your comfort zone and see what you can find. There are so many amazing stories out there, it almost seems a shame to limit yourself to just a fraction of them, doesn’t it? Happy reading, friends! Let me know if you find one of those little, surprising gems out there.

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