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Out of Comfort Zone: the power of new experiences

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Once upon a time there was a girl called Shar. She read a lot of YA novels published in the 21st century. They were easy to pick up and devour, had relatable characters, and made her forget her homework.

Unfortunately, one holiday she had some English homework: read a book related to a certain topic recommended by her English teacher. Fortunately, she had a lot of books to choose from, and the blurb of Fahrenheit 451 fascinated her. Unfortunately, the audience was adults, it was written 50 years ago, and had no comic relief or cute subplots. Fortunately, it still sounded wonderful.

The premise: In a futuristic society people are more into their multi-wall TVs than books that tackle hard ideas in books. Guy Montag is a fireman, but since all houses were fireproofed, this job has a different description- to make a show of book hoarders by burning their libraries. Meeting a young girl called Clarisse who sees everything differently changes Montag’s perspective on his job and marriage- and his life takes a different turn.

 

Unfortunately, her Fahrenheit 451 was in such high demand that she couldn’t get it from her library. Fortunately, If On a Winter’s Night a Traveller was available instead, and it was perfect for her topic. Unfortunately, she kept thinking about Fahrenheit 451. Fortunately, she wanted to read books out of her comfort zone, and Fahrenheit could fulfill this goal.

Unfortunately, Shar became so busy with schoolwork that she had no time for difficult books that weren’t in her library. Fortunately, one day she looked in her library- and it was there! She checked it out. Unfortunately, Shar procrastinated and busied herself with George and Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging. Fortunately, that weekend Shar finished these books and was forced to turn to her last option: Fahrenheit 451. Unfortunately, Fahrenheit is extremely difficult to spell. Fortunately, Fahrenheit 451 was amazing. It had wonderful language.

Some language:

“Stuff your eyes with wonder, he said, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.”

“We need not to be let alone. We need to be really bothered once in a while. How long is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real?”

“There must be something in books, something we can’t imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don’t stay for nothing.”

The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us.”

“A book is a loaded gun in the house next door…Who knows who might be the target of the well-read man?”

“That’s the good part of dying; when you’ve nothing to lose, you run any risk you want.”

BRADBURY 1bradbury 2

It had engaging characters: Montag, a fireman with a family history of firemen, who is questioning his job and his life. Clarisse, a 17-year-old (and insane) girl who shows Montag that there are alternatives to the way he lives.

It had an excellent setting: A future society with oppressive government and disengaged citizens in the midst of a war nobody cares about. Considering it was written in the 50s, it was surprisingly prophetic.

It had an excellent ending and was perfect for a standalone.

Most surprisingly, Shar thought Fahrenheit 451 was easy to read! It was short, engaging, and had a fast-paced plot.

After such an adventure with this book out of her comfort zone, Shar decided that she would recommend this to bookworms looking for something that tackles a relevant and important topic that is close to their hearts, that has excellent language and a fast paced plot, and that is short and easy to read. She wouldn’t recommend it to bookworms who find the thought of burning books horrifying or even vaguely traumatic. (Think multiple Alexandrian libraries.)

To wash down her adventure with Farenheit 451, Shar devoured Fangirl (again) in a day.She also made donuts for her brother’s production of Holes with her friend(get it?), got braces and hence had sore teeth, and finished 1 short story and worked on another (which you might get to read sometime)

What’s one out-of-comfort-zone book you’ve read? Was it worthwhile? Does Fahrenheit 451 sound traumatic or fascinating? What’s a fortunate and unfortunate thing that happened to you recently?

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22 thoughts on “Out of Comfort Zone: the power of new experiences

  1. I have enjoyed Ray Bradbury’s writing in the past, although not enough to ever hunt down Fahrenheit 451. Still, I know the idea is hugely important and cool, and I think what’s even cooler is that you decided to read something outside of your comfort zone even though you had many opportunities to give up on reading it! That’s awesome. 🙂 Also, good reading skills. So yay you for that.

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  2. I don’t think there is any genre of fiction that is out of my comfort zone any more. I have read it all. If I had to chose something out of my comfort zone I’d have to go for non-fiction and autobiographies in particular. I really do try to avoid those. Like the plague.

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    1. yes, I did, and it was stupid but somewhat hilarious, I have to confess. (I’m still judging the title though…) *hi fives for having braces*

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  3. I read “The Fountainhead” by Ayn Rand a few months ago because I found it in a bach (New Zealandese for holiday house) and did not have anything else to read and because it is famous and I thought I should. It was terrible (for me), more an author trying to express her philosophy through cardboard cut out representational characters than a novel. So I have retreated to my comfort zone- well written books about real characters which let the world unfold through complex flesh and blood, complex unpredictable human beings.

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    1. I know New Zealandese, you know. Also, how can you tell a book is in the comfort zone you described before reading it, unless you reread? It’s good you tried, I suppose 🙂

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  4. FARENHEIT 451 IS SO GREAT I CAN FORGIVE IT FOR NOT ADHERING TO THE FAR MORE SENSIBLE DEGREE SCALES. It was just, gaaaah, the premise. the writing. just gah. (Also — I am not certain, but Farenheit 451 mayyyyy be public domain so it could be on the Internet?) And WOW THOSE DONUTS. THEY LOOK DELICIOUS.

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    1. WELL AT LEAST WE AGREE THAT THE DEGREE SCALES ARE STUPID. 😀 But seriously, I’m glad you agree with me 🙂 I LOVED IT SOOSOSOSOSOSO MUCH! Well, whether or not Fahrenheit 451 is public domain, let’s pretend it’s not, because ruining the story would be sad y’know.

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    1. I’ve heard of Far From the Madding Crowd, but I really, really dislike horror so yeah. no way I’m glad you’re with me on 451.

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  5. Ohhh I LOVE those quotes. That makes me want to read it immediately even if I can’t spell Fahrenheit to save my life (copy and pasted #noshame) 😄 😂 I honestly avoid classics and older books because I am a SCAREDEY CAT. But sometimes I do read memoirs which are still out of my comfort zone (I mean, real life??? whyyyy) and sometimes they’re even good which is a bonus. 😉
    (Sad face for the braces though. EAT COLD THINGS. I luckily only had to have braces on for a year and I think I existed on ice cream for the first week. 😖)

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    1. Fahrenheit is the weirdest word. Like, where did the extra H come from *feels confused* Ice cream is good 🙂 I’ve also been eating a lot of chocolate and soup and rice/lentils. Memoirs sound possibly interesting? I don’t know… They’re nonfiction which is actually scary. *shrugs* The quotes are amazing, aren’t they ?

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  6. Haha, this post is super cool! And I’d never really had any interest in reading Farenheit 451 until reading this post, but it really is an interesting concept and then there are the incredibly gorgeous quotes, so yeah. I’ll definitely have to put it on the list. 🙂

    Alexa
    thessalexa.blogspot.com
    verbositybookreviews.wordpress.com

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    1. If you read it, I’d be excited to see what you thought of it. 🙂 I only read it because it was recommended to me, and I’m definitely glad I did. Thanks, Alexa!

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  7. It does sound fascinating! I had no clue… for some reason, I’d lumped 451 (I’m not spelling it.) in with Orwell’s books, and other adult such books. Scary creepy stuff. 😄

    Actually, I catch myself reading classics or slightly older book more than I do freshly published ones. Like Les Miserables. That was outside my comfort zone, but it left me sobbing (satisfied sobs) at the end. And I hadn’t sobbed over a book since Deathly Hallows, if I remember correctly.

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    1. The Deathly Hallows DEFINITELY deserves sobbing. I haven’t read Les Miserables, I must admit, and I’ve only watched a few parts of the musical, but *adds to list* I’ve only read Animal Farm of Orwells, although in English we read 1984, but that’s next year I think. I HAVE watched V for Vendetta, which was pretty creepy and based on it, I suppose. Sometimes classics are definitely worth the hard language and less relatable characters 🙂

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  8. What a wonderful post, Shar, I loved reading this. (And my eyes and stomach are thankful and a bit jealous of those donuts, if I’m being completely honest). I haven’t read Farenheit 451, but heard only great things about it. Classics are a bit out of my comfort zone, but I would LOVE to read that one, even more after reading this.
    I really WANT to read one of your short stories, that would be awesome! 😀
    Hm, I can say that I’m currently reading ASDOM and it’s a bit out of my comfort zone, but I like it so far, I’m very curious about it! 🙂 And hm, a fortunate thing happening to me, I would say, reading this, because it made me smile and I need it these days! 😀

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    1. I really want to read ADSOM , and I haven’t yet because I don’t think it’s available at the library or for buying or anything 😦 . I usually don’t go for classics, but this one was pretty good, I have to say. I’m glad you liked it 🙂

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