There exists many different genres in the literature world. Romance, mystery, horror and fantasy to name but a few. Each of these genres have their own strengths and appeal. Learning to borrow these strengths from various genres can greatly enhance your work. In order to familiarize yourself with these various potential strengths you need to get out of your reading rut.
People often become stuck in a reading rut when they prefer a particular genre. I'm quite guilty of this as well, preferring epic fantasy (in the style of Tolkien) and crime novels. This reading preference leads to a problem in writing: monotony.
Let me explain: you tend to write what you read. Thus if you only read certain types of books your writing will reflect that. Your plot and characters run the risk if becoming a copy of the novels you read.
Publishers and readers don't want another version of the same tale. To avoid falling into the copy-and-paste trap it is important to read widely and to incorporate the different genre elements into your work.
Learn to drip information to the reader which is typical of the crime and mystery genres. If romance is involved have your characters grow together and utilize the emotional intensity which can be found in romance novels.
Each genre offers a valuable way of communicating information to the readers without running the risk that your novel will be another typical copy of the genre that you read. Keeping your writing fresh will engage the readers and make for a pleasant read.