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Expanding My Horizons

An unexpected benefit of BookCrossing
by ResQgeek
February 18, 2004
When I joined BookCrossing, I expected to share the books I love with others. What I didn't expect was that I would find my reading horizons greatly expanded by my participation. But that is exactly what has happened. When I look at my bookshelf now, I find a number of terrific books that I would never have read without BookCrossing. How did this happen?

Some of these books have arrived as bookrings or bookrays (such as Swastika Night or Fahrenheit 451). Others have been given to me by non-BookCrossers (such as Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution), or are books that I've picked up from a variety of sources (including Escape from Auschwitz: I Cannot Forgive and To Kill a Mockingbird). Some of these are classics (and I am again reminded that classics generally become such for a reason!), while others are more obscure. However, in each case, I found myself greatly enjoying a book that I probably would not have read without BookCrossing.

I don't mean to imply that I limited my reading to a single genre prior to BookCrossing. I've always enjoyed a certain amount of diversity in my reading choices. However, I was never particularly motivated to press against the boundaries of my comfort zone. BookCrossing has helped change that. The great diversity of books registered here, and the enthusiasm of the members for various genres and styles has been very motivating. Other people's responses to their literary discoveries have challenged me to look beyond my normal reading habits.

The results have been rewarding. While I do find some books that I just don't like (which was also true in my comfort zone), I've enjoyed the majority of these books I've read. I now find myself browsing different sections of bookstores and libraries, hoping to find another new and different type of book to challenge my reading tastes. My wish list has expanded, both in the number and in the types of books I've listed. I'm finding myself becoming addicted to these explorations of the vast variety of the literary world.

So, I have BookCrossing to thank for helping me to expand my reading horizons. These books have opened my eyes to the wider world of literature, and motivated me to look for treasures in areas I wouldn't have previously considered. When I joined BookCrossing, I never would have predicted this change, but it has become one of my favorite benefits of being a member.

Have you read a different kind of book lately?

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