Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Genre is bunk

I don't read books with aliens and spaceships in them, he said. So he didn't read 

I hate Westerns, she said. So she never looked at

Isn't that a romance? he asked. He never picked up 

Autobiographies don't interest me, she said, and never got to read

That's a kids' book, he said, so he didn't borrow 

Have you ever discovered something wonderful in a genre you don't usually read? 

Genre is great for telling bookshop employees where to shelve products, but don't ever let it tell you what to read. 


  1. I never was into chick lit until reading Talli Roland's books. Now I love it!

  2. I have found wonderful exceptions in genres I don't normally read. I'm a fantasy devotee to the core, but the Dune books (sci fi) are some of my absolute favorites. They were recommended to me by my (then soon to be) husband. There are always exceptions and I almost always find them due to personal recommendations. For the most part, though, genre lines do hold for me as far as what I like and don't like to read.

  3. This past year I was supposed to read books outside my genre more, and pretty much failed. Except for with graphic novels. I read a lot of mystery/crime graphic novels and I don't think I've read a novel in that genre in my adult life. Potter's Field by Mark Waid and Elk's Run by Joshua Hale Failkov are two graphic novels that I loved, but wouldn't have picked up if I stuck to my usual genres.

  4. The Hobbit was a children's book. I didn't discover it (and the rest of Tolkein's work) until I started University.

  5. No. But I've been terribly disappointed in genres that I do read....so you have a point.

  6. Thanks for the comments, guys. I've got some good recommendations out of it so far (thanks Cacy and Alleged Author)!

    @ Botanist, it's interesting you mentioned The Hobbit. I read LOTR when I was a teenager, and refused pointblank to read The Hobbit because it was a kid's book. More fool me. I had to wait another decade until I got over myself.

  7. The only genre I haven't read is Australian erotica. Any suggestions?

    But really, I never read Stephen King all through college 'cause I was going to be a WRITER, and I was taught to look down on all that lowbrow crap.

    And then I saw "Stand By Me," and got Different Seasons, and I stayed up half the night reading "Shawshank Redemption."

    I went to bed in a stunned state, thinking, How the hell does he DO THAT?

  8. I read anything and everything. Always have, and I can't recommend it enough :-)

  9. awesome illustration of why genre is, as you say, bunk. I read any genre. There's nothing I won't read, but because we're writers, aren't we different from regular ol' readers, who do shop/read by genre and never/always? that's why genre bending is so key, I think!

  10. @ MC, no, no idea, why do you ask? *looks around in a shifty way*

    So true what you said about Stephen King. I think we're taught to look down on certain writers, as though somehow being commercially successful must mean they've sold out, or were never that talented to begin with. And some authors, sure I don't see the appeal, but Stephen King...holy hell, he can tell a story!

    Hi Sarah and Magpie! Read anything, read everything, that's good advice!

  11. I'm sometimes surprised when I read YA thrillers.

    Happy holidays, Jen!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...