It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!
"It is necessary to the happiness of man that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving, it consists in professing to believe what one does not believe."
Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason, 1794
I think a good approach would be to try it, and see if it disturbs your practice. Read a sci-fi book, and test to see if your practice of Buddhism is lessened in some way. Do you find that the influx of new ideas lessens your focus on the dharma? Do you feel pleasure while reading violent parts of the book - a sign you may be watering a 'wrong seed' in your store consciousness? Are you dragged away from your mindfulness by being so absorbed in the entertainment?
I wouldn't be surprised to see a Buddhist monk reading a non-dharma book, on the odd occasion. Even they must need something to refresh themselves and stay in touch with the people. But I would be surprised to find one with a large sci-fi book collection - that would be a sign of attachment to entertainment which I'd expect them to have given up on.
Hand mudra's is another thing I have found to have a significant influence on my meditation. Worth a try if you are looking at ways of varying your practice.
As a counterpoint, let's not forget to watch our suffering. Lots of people try to stay upbeat about their lives by taking positive viewpoints on things, and they sweep their suffering under the carpet. If we are honest about it most lives are a mixture of the two - happiness and suffering - but keeping the focus on one while being aware of the other is an interesting art. Of course suffering is often not about the disasters one encounters, often a poor relationship with a parent can be a greater source of pain than breaking an arm in a car crash.
Just don't try to do both at the same time...
Honestly I find insight meditation more useful - then whatever comes, comes in a flash. Not much thinking involved, at least not rationally, until afterwards.