Why You Should Read Many Genres

Readers read. It’s what you do. Some of you find a single genre that speaks to you and read that genre and only that genre. And some of you read two genres and never read anything outside of that genre. A few of you read many genres. When asked why you read so broadly, you probably shrug and answer that you love to read. Is one type of reader better than the other. No. But there are reasons why you should read more than one genre.

Image of a book lying flat with it's pages fanned open against a blue sky with whit clouds an image for readers and explaining why you should read many genres.

What is Genre?

The term genre means “a category of artistic, musical, or literary composition characterized by a particular style, form, or content” according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. In books there are fiction and nonfiction as categories. Those are extremely broad genres. Genres as the definition says fall into particular styles, forms, or content. That means subcategories of literature can be sliced and diced in many different ways.

Some argue that genre is a marketer’s construction. Genre only exists to sell books, they say. Genre does help sell books. But I argue that genre exists because humans like to have labels for all things.

It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.”

Oscar Wilde

How Many Genre’s are there?

The number of genres any given “authority” gives depends upon how broadly or narrowly that person’s or entity’s definition of genre is.

For me, there are nine broad fiction genres: Literary, Drama, Fantasy, Historical, Horror, Mystery, Thriller, Romance, Speculative Fiction. Most novels include elements from two or more genres and that mixture, if popular, becomes another sub-genre.

A Loyal Reader

One Genre

A Daring Duo Reader

Two Genres

A Parliamentary Reader

Three or more Genres

Why You Should Read Many Genres

There are numerous benefits to reading outside of your comfort zone. At the very least, you will broaden the scope of concepts you’re exposed to. You may expand your vocabulary, your empathy and understanding of different lifestyles and cultures,. You may gain new information about history, how something works, or you may acquire a new skill. Reading outside of your usual genre can increase your reading skills.

Still Want to Read Only One Genre?

No worries and no shaming. This may not be your time to expand. But try to remember and consider why you should read more than one genre sometime in the future.

Image Credits:

Open book image by Kranich17 from Pixabay

One owl image by Ton W from Pixabay  

Two owls image by AuraPartners from Pixabay 

Three owls image by LPeak from DepositPhoto

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