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The Importance of Reading Other Genres #MPBooks

I’ve always enjoyed certain genres more than others, I think everyone has favourites and we tend to stick to those favourites when looking for new books to read.  For me, I love science fiction, fantasy, action thrillers and young adult/teen books.  I’ve always enjoyed these genres above all others but it doesn’t mean I’m not open to reading others and there’s a reason why we all should try a different genre now and again.

Having been a book blogger and reviewer on Amazon for a few years now I’ve been approached by different publishers in the past for reviews of their books.  It’s always exciting to get a review request but it’s even more exciting for me personally if I’m contacted by a publisher as it’s often us bloggers who are trying to contact them!  Having been contacted by different publishers though I’ve been offered a wide variety of books to review, some of which I’d never have considered reading had I walked into a shop or library and browsed their shelves.  And having been offered so many different books, in genres that are so different to the ones I usually read, I’ve had the dilemma of whether I should stick to books I know I’d enjoy, or try my hand at something new.  If you were offered the chance to read books in the genre you usually enjoy verses one you might dislike, I know that most of us will instinctively go for the obvious choice, and pick the books that most appeal to us.  But should we be so picky with new books, or should we be more open to trying new and different genres?

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I’ve always enjoyed trying something new.  I think it began with my determination to read at least some of the classics.  Quite a few years ago I made the decision that one day I’d read some of the most talked about classics and went about buying up cheap classics I found at a discount store.  Now classics aren’t exactly the most gripping or exciting books to read, not when compared with some of the modern books of today, but there was something hugely satisfying for me in tackling some of the well known classics such as Moby Dick and in finishing the book I was pleasantly surprised with how exciting an ending it had!  So after trying to and successfully reading some classic novels I decided to stay open minded to new genres, especially ones that I’d never consider as interesting.

My next new interest became biographies/autobiographies.  Apart from reading a couple of autobiographies of famous people I liked, I’d never considered reading this as a genre, after all why would I be interested in some unknown-to-me sports star or an non-famous person now living in a different new country?  But being a book blogger and particularly on my old blog, I was invited by both publishers and some self-published authors to review their books, their biographies of life and work and play.  On some strange thinking I accepted the challenge, determined to at least see if I liked the genre.  I’d enjoyed reading up about my favourite famous people so maybe another autobiography/biography wouldn’t be so bad.

I ended up reading several of these books and each one was interesting, solidifying a new ‘favourite’ genre of mine I now read often.  I’m still surprised with how interesting I find all these personal biographies about people I’ve never heard of doing things I’d never normally be interested in.  But having tried the genre I found I really rather like it.

Of course trying new genres can have its drawbacks, there are plenty of books which I’ve tried in my quest to try new genres which have been great disappointments, and made me question whether it’s the book I dislike or the entire genre.  Many times in the past I’ve blamed the genre and not the book and spent months maybe even years avoiding a whole range of books because I’ve been convinced I’d never like them thanks to one bad book….These days though I’m far more lenient, being open minded to new genres and blaming the book if I dislike it and taking the chance, every now and then, on a new genre.

For the last few months since being contacted by yet another publisher I’ve had the joy of discovering a new love for books about mountaineering.  Oddly having never been anywhere near a mountain or had any desire to climb a mountain before I’ve found myself fascinated by stories of the people who have taken the challenge of climbing these amazing sights and fictional tales surrounding these places too.  Of course this new interest only came about because I’ve been open to trying out the books in the genre.  Does this new genre surpass my old love of fantasy and sci-fi books?  Perhaps not, but to have another genre/area of interest opens me up to so many more books and fascinating tales.

Reading new genres is something I’ll always do.  Of course I’ll always read more in my favourite genres than in others, but the idea of cutting myself off from most genres simply because I have my favourites is something that I just don’t feel comfortable with.  That’s not to say I’ll read every genre that exists, I’ll never be a fan of erotica for example (being a bit more of a child at heart and mind than an adult 😛 ), but I’m open to trying less risqué romances and certainly won’t turn down another new genre if there’s a book there that sounds interesting.

I wonder if anyone feels the same as me though?  Would you try new genres, even ones that you think at first glance wouldn’t interest you?  Or are you firmly someone who sticks to your favourites and won’t try something new?  However you feel please do share what you’d do and why, I’d love to hear some alternative views on trying new genres 🙂

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21 thoughts on “The Importance of Reading Other Genres #MPBooks

  1. I’m a genre butterfly and flit between many. I did binge read certain genres in the past but found after a while they started to feel too similar. Now as a blogger I love to swap and change, it keeps it interesting xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • 🙂 That sounds great! I agree, its possible to have too much of one genre, for me I overdid the YA books a few months ago and found that all my reviews on my blog were YA which isn’t good as I know not everyone reading my blog likes YA. so I went and read some adult fiction (adult age not erotic lol) and it was such a breath of fresh air 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. While I, like you, have favorite genres, I have learned to read what I call out-of-my-comfort-zone. I have found some really great reads because of it. I don’t know that I would have ever gotten out of my comfort zone if it had not been for a library book group I was asked to join. Book after book was read. Many of them I would have never read otherwise, but having to discuss each book every month, I learned to read books. It’s been almost twelve years since I joined this group, and I can only say that I didn’t read two of them. The first I could not get into and knowing that I couldn’t attend the meeting, I quit. The other I was away (in Kenya), and it was too heavy of material (The Worst Hard Times, nonfiction by Timothy Egan about the Dust Bowl) to read on vacation. I read The Grapes of Wrath that same year, and found it so depressing that I haven’t yet read the Egan book. I still own it and will read it some day.

    Now, I can read just about anything. Yeah, there are books I enjoy more and when finished, I will admit that I would rather have spent my time in different pursuits; however, this book group has been good for me if for no other reason, that it got me out of the rut of only reading my favorite genres and introduced me to new genres, which have also become (new) favorite genres.

    Speaking of which, I have a book to finish. ~nan

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s so great, I’m glad you found that a library group helped introduce you to new genres as well as enjoy some great books. I have to admit I’ve never joined a reading group of any kind but it now sounds like something I’d love to do. It’s wonderful to find a new book that we never would have considered become a favourite. One of my favourites, although a fantasy book (which is a favourite genre for me), Strange the Dreamer wasn’t something I planned to read. It was actually first pointed out to me by a friend in a local library, had they not noticed the book at the time I may never have read it and yet it’s become one of my favourite books ever 🙂 Have fun reading 🙂


  3. Great post, Cat! I don’t think I could stick with a couple of favourite genres – I would soon get bored – I try to read as many types of book as I can. When I was young I much preferred fiction; I began reading 18th and 19th century classics when I was in my early to mid teens. I still love fiction but nowadays I think I read more non-fiction. I find ‘chick-lit’ and romance tedious and I don’t often read sci-fi. My husband loves science fiction and is always recommending books to me which I try now and again but I can’t get excited about it. I like biography and auto-biography but I try to avoid celebrities, sports stars and the books that recount personal battles with disease/violence/addiction as I find them too depressing. I am reading more poetry than I used to. I have read a lot of text books and self-help books about depression/asperger’s/autism/anxiety/bi-polar disorder as I have family members who suffer from these problems and I like to know as much as I can about them. I love books about the natural world – plants, birds, animals and insects. I am interested in history, maps, walking, gardening, architecture, religion,archaeology – all sorts of things! I collect children’s books – mainly fiction. I do have go-to favourite genres for when I am in need of comfort – crime and mystery books and cosy reads like the Miss Read books. I find horror virtually impossible to read and anything too gory as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you 🙂 Wow, that’s a wonderful list of different genres to be into 🙂 . I think it’s great to be interested in so many different books. I share your interest in the natural world books especially if its animals 🙂 And I do recently enjoy these mountaineering books which is strange but wonderful to be into a new area of interest. I think it’s quite boring if we as readers stick to just one or two genres (like some people do). At the same time I’m now thinking it’s silly that as readers we often box ourselves into genres at all. We’re all attracted to certain books but there’s nothing wrong with reading something different as we’re all individuals 🙂
      I hope my posts on books genres you don’t like aren’t to annoying for you, I have to admit I do like my science fiction books (and films lol).

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, thank you yes, I am feeling better. Not fully healed yet but I am a mile away from the pain I was in before. I found myself able to write more for the first time in ages, it feels good to be on the mend ❤ ❤ 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I ebb & flow what genres I read, if something just speaks to me in a cover, or a blurb, or a review then I’ll try anything I’m not limited by genres although many of my favourite books are in the crime/thriller/contemporary fiction/chick lit genres. I think it’s very important to try other genres as I think as our life experiences change so do our tastes and what we need in books. Loved this post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you 🙂 I’m glad to here another person who doesn’t limit themselves to certain genres. We all have favourites which we read more of, but great to be able to try something different as sometimes we can come across an amazing read 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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