As a general rule of thumb, most of my reading in the past has been of books that are educational. I strayed away from fiction novels for the most part, not because I didn't enjoy them, but because I felt I always had to prove something to my peers and family. This thought process drove me to pick books that would "teach me something," rather than entertain me. I did have a few fiction novels in there, but mostly I stuck with books that explained how things were or are.
Some examples of books in my library are
The Knight in History
A Brief History of Time
The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography
The Search for Superstrings, Symmetry, and the Theory of Everything
Recently though, I've begun to back down from that type of reading and really delve into the imaginary world of fiction. Like I said, I rather enjoy it, but it used to be trumped by the educational reading. As I look at fictional work, I find that I tended to stay in the sci-fiction/fantasy genre, but recently I gave in and tried some recommendations by fellow readers. "LOOK Ma, I'm expanding my horizons!"
One such read was the Twilight series, which, I understand most of us are sick of hearing about, but let's be honest...it was a pretty good read. At least I thought so. I would have never picked it up, had I known what it was really about, but I was duped into reading it, because a co-worker told me it was a book about vampires. After finishing the whole series though, I found myself realizing that YA fiction wasn't a category I should stray from anymore. Previously, I'd avoided it, thinking that it was childish or somehow not as literary-powerful. I was wrong. Another such read was the book Shiver. Just finished it yesterday (Amazing how much reading you can do when you're home sick). Again, I was very entertained by it and I've been playing around with the idea of writing a YA fiction novel.
How about you all.
Do you have any genres that you used to avoid and were pleasantly surprised when you tried them out?
Have any of them influenced your desire to write in a different genre than what you'd consider "your speciality?"