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.
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.
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.
A Loyal Reader
You are a steadfast reader of one genre, perhaps even a specific sub-genre. There is no shame in that. In fact, loyalty is something I hold in high regard. Thank you for being one of my loyal readers.
A Daring Duo Reader
Ah, you have two loves (in reading, that is.) There is no disloyalty in that. I’m curious. Do you alternate genres when reading? Or does it depend on your mood at that time?
A Parliamentary Reader
Three or more Genres
You are a reader after my own heart. There are so many good books out there! I will try anything. My usual TBR list includes science fiction (particularly dystopian, post apocalyptic, space opera, and hard science), and mysteries, and thrillers, and adventures, with an occasional romance thrown into the mix. Which ones do you read?