Inspired by a post on Dear Author (where I also stole this LOLcats pic) I’ve been thinking about reading tastes–specifically, how we wear a rut in our reading road and occasionally have to be rocked free.

I’ve lost count of the number of people who tell me ‘Oh, I read everything! Science fiction and fantasy.’ Very like those who say, ‘I’m omnivorous, I gobble Mysteries and Thrillers!”

I read all kinds of things, about all kinds of people, from all kinds of points-of-view with all kinds of narrative arcs. But if I’m honest I can see one giant rut: I prefer not-here-not-now fiction. Speculative, supernatural, criminal, historical, exotic. Mundane fiction–mainstream litfic–with a small town, crowded metropolitan, or campus setting, makes me claustrophobic. (It also bores me rigid.) I like open air: a beach on an alien planet, a wind-swept moor in times past, clinging to a rain-wet 50th storey balcony with the stolen flashdrive in my pocket, or hacking my way through the jungle in pursuit of the ancient mystery. I need to breathe. I can’t cope with being cooped up.

So what’s your rut? What do you avoid as a reader?