But today, when I say outside your genre, I'm talking really outside your genre.
My local library has two floors. Ground floor, we've got the adult fiction right up front, and science fiction and fantasy on the wall behind that. To the left is the wish-it-was-bigger young adult section. You walk through a door and there's a big room for the kids books. Then in the basement is all the non-fiction.
I've been in the basement maybe twice. Which is not much, especially considering how often I am at that library. Almost every time I leave I have something from adult, young adult, and kids, but I never go downstairs.
This is what I'm talking about. What would get readers like me to the downstairs books? I think I need to ponder this further before I have any good answers, which is why I'm asking you. And here's why I think it's important: for books to really break out, really get BIG, it needs to draw readers from every part of the book store. And it's fair to say we all want to reach as many readers as possible, right?
I think the last non-fiction book I read was Bird by Bird by Anne Lammot because 1) it was recommended by my trusty book recomenderer, and 2) it was directly applicable to me. Those are the best answers I've come up with so far for why fiction readers would delve into the non-fiction section. What others can you think of?
And I know there are plenty of those who generally only read non-fiction. Heck, I work at Barnes and Noble and that's an answer I've gotten from plenty of my co-workers when I ask about their favorite books. Only about half of the books on the staff recommendations shelf are novels. Like I said, I'm starting to come up with reasons for fiction readers to go to non-fiction, but what about vice versa? So for you non-fiction readers out there, what was the last novel you read and what made you pick it up?
I also know that there are plenty of people who only read mysteries or Pulitzer winners or books written in the 1800's (I wouldn't blame you). That's totally cool to read this way, but what makes you pick up the rare book outside your main category?
Leave your thoughts in the comments! Let me know the last "outside" book you read, and why you read it. I'm anxious to get some more ideas about this :)