Reading Outside of those Comfort Zones

Reading outside of those comfort zones you have built yourself is really hard to do sometimes. But let’s talk about what you’re missing in the great big world by limiting yourself!


Challenged & Banned Books

So here’s the deal, we live in a society that seems to be almost too sensitive. No matter what someone is writing, someone else will be offended by it. We all live in a world that we share, but we also all have our own beliefs and values. However, this doesn’t mean that the world revolves around that one person who thinks the world might end with a single cuss word written into a young adult novel (trust me they’ve heard it before).

One of my favorite authors of all time that you’ve already probably read about on my blog is Judy Blume. She happens to be one of the most banned children and young adult authors in the United States. Judy Blume talks about the real life situations without sugar coating it. It’s not always rainbows and butterflies for young adults and even children, so why not write about that raw realism through fiction novels? There’s no point in hiding what real life is. She says:

“I always tell people, ‘You think you’re safe? Think again, because when you’re writing, anything can be seen as dangerous.’”

There’s a long list out there of challenged books, or in other words books that parents, teachers, etc… think should be banned for numerous reasons. However, all of these books are important and should be valued. They stress to young readers the real life “stuff” and struggles.

“The truth is, no one ever really knows which books might end up changing a person’s life, helping him or her find comfort, or gaining a better understanding of a subject.”

I recently wrote a review about this very thing in our college campus newspaper, THE EAGLE. I never really fully understood what all the fuss was about regarding banned books until I came to college and my options became opened to EVERYTHING. After reading a few of these so-called “banned books” I felt discouraged by my fellow citizens. It makes no sense to me why people want to limit these books to readers (especially young adults) because of language, sexual discussions, diversity, hardships, etc…

I guess all we can do is discuss the matter and voice our opinions. No one is wrong here, it’s just that no one has the right to take books away from readers. That’s my own personal opinion.



I recently read an article titled “A Dirty Little Secret: Self-Censorship” by Debra Lau Whelan. She discusses the heat that librarians and schools get for allowing children to read “challenged” or “banned” books. This leads to censoring what we can and cannot read. Not only that, but why should anyone else be able to dictate this? If a novel is written and published for a specific age group I don’t see why people feel the need to censor it off.

So over the years we’ve picked up on this habit of not opening up to those books that were censored off to us by our parents, librarians, teachers, ministers, etc… This habit needs to stop though because there’s a great world of diversity out there and it’s all written down, too, for us to enjoy and read!

I think a lot of times now, we struggle to travel outside of our comfort zones for fear of what might be there. I’ll be honest, I’d rather sit, drink coffee, and read a novel about religion, or adventure. What I fail to do a lot of times is dig into the stuff that I don’t really know anything about like LGBTQ or fantasy novels. It never fails that I always enjoy those novels that I go out of my comfort zone to read. Why? Because I feel like i’ve been able to learn something.

Restricting ourselves to the same old stuff dulls our perceptions of the world. Look at it this way:

“Experience to a [reader] is like paint to a painter. The more rich the palette the more rich the story portrayed on paper or canvass. Reading different styles is a great way to add to the palette.” – Sophia Tesch

SO, it’s time to make our palette’s bright. Not dull. Reach outside of your comfort zone. Get some good recommendations from friends!

Continue reading friends! Add a different color to your palette this week and then tell your friends about the experience!



2 thoughts on “Reading Outside of those Comfort Zones

  1. kzlovesreading says:

    I also could not believe that so many of Judy Blume’s books have been banned or censored. I have not read very many of them so I am not sure why some of them were, but the ones I have read seem innocent enough and perfect for young readers. My experience is Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, and Super Fudge. Maybe not the most controversial ones of hers, but my students have enjoyed reading them. Also, the reasons why some books are banned, for language or themes, is ridiculous because these young adults see and hear much worse on TV or in their everyday lives.


    • lifewithbooks2017 says:

      I agree with you completely! If you flip to my earlier blog post from this week, I read a book by Judy Blume called Forever. It deals explicitly with a girl and boy who are in a relationship that explore sex. I’m sure this one has been censored. But here’s the thing: high schoolers (whether parents, teachers, or anyone else want to admit) are exposed to sex. It’s there. And what Judy Blume does is educate them on the matter rather than just not talking about it. Not everything can be swept under the wrong and that’s why I don’t agree with a lot of these censored books. Thanks so much for your comment!


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