Genre Biases

United States
February 27, 2011 5:04pm CST
Hey all the readers out there! I've got a question for you. Do you have Genre Biases? As in... you only read books from a certain genre or you won't read books from other genres? Or are you an easy to please person who's going to read anything and everything? How did that genre bias come about and have you ever tried to get over it? Do you even want to? lol I'm personally very attached to my high fantasy novels. The last dozen or so books that I've read have been fantasy, and the next dozen books on my to-read shelf are fantasy. When I was in middle school I would read almost any genres, but over the years I've really zeroed in on fantasy. I DO read other genres... about two or three times a year out of a hundred books. Right now I'm reading a non-fiction book just to try and broaden my reading material, but it's kind of a pain for me. Even though it's a subject that I'm interested in, I still find it hard to find the motivation to read it. I really like heroic quests, good vs. evil showdowns, ancient prophecies, mythological creatures and all the stuff that fantasy is made up of. Other genres just fall flat to me. What about you? What are your personal genre biases, and do you know why you have them? Do you have any at all?
4 people like this
10 responses
@carmelanirel (20979)
• United States
27 Feb 11
I don't know ally, I guess I am a little. I prefer easy going romance novels with some mystery over one that is more in deep. I like books I can relax and not really have to think about I guess. Besides I get enough of the hard thinking stuff from my college classes, not fun reading at all...
• United States
28 Feb 11
I agree. I hate study reading! I'd rather not have to critically think and analyze when I'm reading on my down time. I'd prefer to relax and get lost in a new world. I remember telling one of my English teachers that I didn't like Charles Dickens and she gave me a big long speech about how I needed to read this such and such and this such and such critical analyses of his work and then I'd be able to fully appreciate him. I told her I didn't want to have to read three books in order to enjoy one.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Feb 11
Oh I've had to read those too. That sucks. I agree about writing something I don't like as well. If it's something I'm relatively interested in (I've had to write papers for school that I've been able to pick interesting subjects for) then it's not so bad, but I usually hate any type of critical analyses papers. I haven't had to do a whole lot of peer's paper reviews... sounds a bit painful.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Feb 11
It is, especially when I kind of wonder if I am one of the better students, even though so far I have not gotten an A this quarter. This is because I can read my peers and pick out grammar, misspellings and other problems, but typically they praise my work. I don't know if they struggle with reviewing another's paper or what, because I saw big problems with my paper...
1 person likes this
@Catana (736)
• United States
28 Feb 11
I read a lot of different genres, but there are a bunch I don't care for and won't usually read. Romance, horror, westerns, chicklit of any kind, real crime, mysteries, high fantasy -- they're all on my list of boring and a waste of time. For me, of course. I certainly don't judge anyone who likes them. My favorite genre, though I can't really say that I have just one favorite, is speculative science fiction. I prefer books that deal with ideas and have more or less realistic characters. I like His Dark Materials, even though it's fantasy, because the characters are so interesting. I'll read a mystery once in a while, but it has to be something really unusual to attract my attention and keep through going through the whole book.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Feb 11
What are the other genres you like? You eliminated quite a few. lol I'm just wondering what's left other than science fiction and maybe self-help books. Haven't read His Dark Materials myself and I'm not certain I would actually enjoy them if I did. I may read them one day, but I'm not planning on it anytime soon. My Dad's a huge fan of science fiction, but I'm not too thrilled about it. I kinda resent that science fiction and fantasy get lumped together all the time. lol They're arch-enemies! Not best friends!
@Catana (736)
• United States
28 Feb 11
I read literary fiction sometimes, mostly rereads of classics, and historical fiction. There's a genre that's not really too well known -- darkfic, which is often a combination of other genres, but with a dark slant. When I'm in a mood when I can concentrate, I also read a fair amount of nonfiction, especially science topics that are written for the nonspecialist. Some biographies and autobiographies, mostly of writers and scientists. No self-help, thanks. I agree with you about lumping science fiction and fantasy together. They're nothing alike. And of course, there are all sort of subgenres of science fiction, but a lot of people seem to think that novels about space -- battles, colonization, etc., are what science fiction is all about. I read mostly contemporary writers like David Brin and William Gibson, who are more interested in how people and society will be changing in the future.
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Mar 11
lol... just asking. I'm not into self-help at all myself. I like some historical fiction myself, but very few classics. Someone who agrees with me! No way! No one's ever agreed with me about that before... lol. There are sub-genres in both science fiction and fantasy. I know that when I do read science fiction then I like it when it leans more towards adventure, plot, and characters than technology. I like some dystopian future science fiction books (but like none of the classics there... it seems to me like English teachers only like dystopian future science fiction books and no science fiction -or any other speculative fiction for that matter- otherwise. )
• China
1 Mar 11
Ur topic is interesting. Rumor said that reading a book is like talk to the writer who may have a great heart. So I choose the book which I get the idea I want.It's just like when u ar down and need a friend.And which kind of friend we need depend on the mood at that mo.There is no way for me to like just one genre always.That's like I just like having one kind of friend or even life.Books help me a lot in many ways.I enjoy absorbing more and widely.Once in a time I read how-to-be-success kind of book.I really lost meself there.The book is huge.And after that one it took me a lot of time until the second one. Too much makes me sick.
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Mar 11
I've never heard it put that way. I don't really think of reading as talking to a writer. More like listening while they tell me a story. I've very loyal to certain stories and storytellers. What do you mean by too much makes you sick? Was it that subject that was wearing thin on you, that writer, or just that book?
• China
2 Mar 11
Hi,friend. The talking-to-writer thing is said by Helen Keller who is a great writer.Do u know her?When reading,u r not just listening u thinking.No one is always right.I don't think read is a way to show agreement.Ov couse no offense.We read coz we can get what we want from the book not absorb all they said. When I said sick I mean enough.If there is one guy keeping telling u what to do.Then what u feel?After I found the guidance I just do it as told.No need to read more just like the same kind.For instance,I read one love story,oh it's beautiful,and then more.Later before I through the book I already know what ending it will be.At this mo I will quit from love story and read some other kinds.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Mar 11
Yes, I've heard about Helen Keller. I've never read anything by her though. I think a read a biography by someone else, but never any of her books. I'm still not sure I agree though. Usually when I think of talking I think of an exchange... one person says something and then I talk back. But in the case of reading, I may be listening to someone else but I'm not talking back to them. I can think about what my opinion is based on what they're saying... but I can't actually speak to them about it. Not while I'm reading at that time anyway. Okay, I think I get it. I don't put down books just cause I'm pretty certain I know what the ending will be, but I can see how someone telling you to do the same thing over and over again would just wear kinda thin on you. I don't typically read any sort of self-help books though.
@Galena (9123)
28 Feb 11
I enjoy all kinds of books. I'll give most of them a chance. but I do prefer horror books, with supernatural themes. particularly vampires or ghosts. I enjoy some fantasy books, but there are a lot of not very inspired ones out there. so I tend to go by recommendation rather than genre there. a few thrillers, but it's not my genre. I do love the Hannibal Lecter ones though. I'll even read the occasional chick lit, but in fairness, only if they come free with a magazine. they're good to fill an afternoon though.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Feb 11
Can't stand horror myself, but I do like a few supernatural books. I tend to lean more demons/angels/spiritual forces then vampires/were-wolves/ghosts though. I'm curious... what do you mean by "very inspired"?
@Galena (9123)
1 Mar 11
a lot of them are unimaginative, and just going over the same old ground with no new ideas.
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Mar 11
Hmm... well I disagree but you're entitled to your own opinion.
@hbsbucks (40)
• United States
3 Mar 11
Although I am very attached to the Science-Fiction genre, I do deviate from it on occasion. So, I am not completely genre-locked, but it really depends on the moment. (Well, and perhaps a little on my budget!) If I get started on a series though, I might not read anything else for months at a time! :)
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Mar 11
lol... your budget? I think lots of science fiction and fantasy books are cheap. Most of them are only published in paperback with the exception of some special editions. Those can be pricey, but I've never bought a special edition unless it was a book series that I completely adored. I don't find myself loyal to a series though. I'll read the rest of the books but usually one at a time with other books all mixed in. I don't immediately run out and get the next book and then the next book. Is that what you do?
@anaknitatay (1335)
• Philippines
2 Mar 11
Oho, a brother in arms! I find myself biased in fiction too. Particularly fantasy and science fiction. They provide a great escape plus they really set off your imagination. I guess that's why other genres fall flat to me also. I don't think I will get over my genre bias nor would I ever want to, I love it too much!
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Mar 11
Yay! Someone who feel the same way! I'm not too much into science fiction myself, but if you lined up a mystery, a romance, a science fiction, and a horror novel and asked me to pick one just based on the genre... I'd pick the science fiction book. I'm much more fond of speculative fiction as a whole then realistic fiction.
@flowerchilde (12518)
• United States
1 Mar 11
I read and study some non fiction regularly but when I read for pleasure I do stick to my own preferences..
• United States
1 Mar 11
And what are your preferences? If you don't mind me asking.
@kristenc (107)
• United States
28 Feb 11
I read a little bit of almost everything. My favorite is romantic suspense, I like the balance, where it's not a straight up mystery but it's not a deep romance either. My five favorite authors are Karen Kingsbury, James Patterson, Nicholas Sparks, Janet Evanovich and Kristin Hannah. If you are familiar with any of these you can tell the differences:). I don't really read non-fiction, horror, and I don't read a whole lot of fantasy, although I have against it! I also don't really care to read books set in the 1600s-early 1900s. I prefer them to be current, or at least 1960+. But on occasion I will read a book set in the "early times".
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Feb 11
I've read a few James Patterson books but other than that I haven't read anything by any of those authors. I've heard good things about them all, but I'm just not typically into the types of books that they write I'm not bothered by people not liking fantasy... it's kind of the norm. lol As for realistic fiction, I also have nothing against it... I'm just not really thrilled about realistic fiction and I'm even less thrilled when it's in modern-day. The way I see it, I live in reality... I don't need a novel about it. lol
@rog0322 (2834)
• Cagayan De Oro, Philippines
28 Feb 11
Hi ally, I do have a bias when it comes to reading books. I tend to prefer war novels and nothing else. Now that I am weaned from fiction, I have the tendency to read more scientific and technical treatises than others.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Feb 11
Interesting. I've never been into any types of war novels myself. I actually tend to prefer reading history in a history book rather than in fictionalized form. I don't read a lot of non-fiction though.
• United States
27 Feb 11
Hi ally.I believe I do have a genre bias.I can only read romantic novels.I don't know why but no matter how hard I try I cannot seem to pick up any other book.I can't even read the James Patterson books or even the most popular right now, the Twilight saga.I don't know why either.I mean I watch the movies and I love them but ever since my friend got me hooked on romance I have not been able to read anything else no matter how hard I try and I just repeated myself again.Oh well. Well that's all for now.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Feb 11
I have a close friend who only reads romance novels. We both love books and reading, but not the same books. lol And we can't take book suggestions from each other. I think all that really matters is that you read and you enjoy it. You don't have to be into the latest best-sellers or what's currently popular.