Right around this time, members of RWA are receiving big packets full of dreams–Golden Heart and RITA entries. The Golden Heart is RWA’s national contest for unpublished manuscripts, while the RITA is for published books.

I got my ginormous (eight books!) box of books this week, and I have a lot of reading to do. What I like best about judging the RITA is the chance to get exposed to books I don’t tend to pick up; yes, they’re all romance, but this box includes a bunch of category romances, which I don’t normally read. I pride myself on keeping a good perspective on the books, even if they’re not my usual cup of tea, so I feel comfortable taking on these genres (all except inspirational; I had one of those last year, and it was very hard for me to gauge. I hope I did a good job with it).

Reading out of your comfort zone can be liberating and exciting; maybe you’ll find an author you absolutely adore, or a trope you just can’t stand. It can also confirm your reasons for not reading in that genre, but that just means you know more coming out than you did when you started the book.

Do you read entirely within your normal range? Or do you take risks with other genres? If so, what was the last book you broke your own boundaries with?