A Bookish Palate Cleanser
As fantasy is one of my favourite genres (with sci-fi at a close second), I'm usually reading a constant stream of books in that genre and let's be honest, it really gets repetitive after a while. This is a problem because I actually like the genre and want to read ALL of everything I'm interested in without getting jaded. Or in Singaporean-style, I would say: "Wah, read until damn gelat." (Heh, how's that for a taste of the local lingo over here?)
A year or so ago, I resolve this by reading a book from a different genre in between spurts of fantasy (or sci-fi, I'll just say fantasy for the sake of not making it into a mouthful). So I may read two fantasies and then a contemporary, before moving back to fantasies. Of course, sometimes I'll change up the combination a bit if I'm not feeling too sick of the genre.
It's how I cleanse my bookish palate. But ultimately, they're all still fiction. Doh!
Recently, out of pure accident, I picked up a non-fiction book because I was curious about a certain subject and happened to chance upon a book that sounded interesting (it's about psychoanalysis). So I got it out of the library and read it after finishing two different YA novels. (Because I have a little bit of OCD and I read my books in order of the dates they were borrowed from the library.) Note that this two novels are of different genres, specifically -- Crown of Fire by S.J. Maas and All The Truth That's In Me by Julie Berry.
Something funny happened then. Although I took longer to finish the shorter (150+ pages) non-fiction book, after completing it though, I gained a speed boost (but it was very, very short, though it may just be me) AND here's the best part, I appreciated the story -- the fictional, fictitious, unfactual -- that I was reading. It's not that I didn't enjoy the non-fiction but it was just much harder to understand instead of my usual "suspended from reality" mode when I read fiction.
I'm going to experiment again when I finish my next two or three fictions, just to see if it was a one-off thing or it really works better than my year-ago method. I felt that if it really works, it's pretty much what works for me. I really like how I felt when I started The Diviners after reading the psychoanalysis book.
P.S. This does not apply to required reading. I think it's a mentality thing with those. Sorry, professors!