I think anyone who dare call themselves a ‘bibliophile’ ‘book nerd’ or any other title revolving around the the love of books and reading, makes an effort to be as well-read, and well-rounded in all of the book genres as well. At least, that was my thought when I was first coming into my bookishness around age thirteen.
I was a hipster back then, and I had some very opinionated (read; pretentious) views on what I considered to be a good book. But of course a lot has changed since I was a young hipster teen; I have both matured my opinions and also relaxed them. What makes a book really good has nothing to do with its popularity or genre, it’s all about the characters, the plot, and the quality of the writing of course!
However, like all readers, there is a noticeable pattern in my reading habits; I do tend to go back most frequently to a few specific genres, and tend to avoid others due to personal interest and bad experiences with previous books. So without further ado, here is a quick little guide from my least-to-most favorite genres;
ULTIMATE LEAST FAVORITE: ROMANCE
I have to admit that romance novels are, without a doubt, my number one, least favorite book genre out there. I don’t really have anything against them, and I definitely don’t hate romance incorporated into a book’s plot, but when it comes to being the main focal point, I just find it kinda dull, and there’s a whole lot of other stuff I’d much rather read.
Favorites in this genre: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
LEAST FAVORITE: MYSTERY/CRIME
This is one of those genres where I’m willing to give the book a shot if it sounds interesting enough, but it usually just doesn’t. Writing mystery and crime well is pretty difficult to do, and I feel like a lot of writers just can’t pull it off 100%, and there’s other stuff I’d rather be reading.
Favorites in this genre: None
LEAST FAVORITE: DRAMA
Like mysteries and crime novels, I feel like a really good drama-centric story is really difficult to write, and in my experience a lot of writers just can’t pull it off without making things feel forced or including a lot of cliches.
Favorites in this genre: none
LEAST FAVORITE: HISTORICAL FICTION
I almost didn’t classify this genre as a ‘least favorite’ because the few historical fiction books I’ve read, I really enjoyed. However, I haven’t read a lot of it, because the majority of historical fiction just doesn’t interest me. I don’t like war fiction, I don’t like royal/high court fiction, I’ve never been huge on political fiction, etc., and there’s a lot of those things in historical fiction.
A lot of times when I try to read a historical fiction novel, or even just checking out the synopsis on Goodreads, I feel like I’m studying in school again, and reading is supposed to be fun.
Favorites in this genre: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne, The Help by Kathryn Stockett
LEAST/MOST FAVORITE: LITERARY FICTION
I’ve listed this genre as a least and most favorite because I have a love/hate relationship with it. There are some really, really good literary fiction novels out there, and there are also a lot of dull, and painfully dense ones as well. For me, really, it’s always a 50/50 shot of whether or not it’s going to be good, but I’m always ready and willing to give it a try!
Favorites in this genre: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, The Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger
MOST FAVORITE: NON-FICTION
When I was younger I used to dislike non-fiction books because again, I felt like I was back in school studying instead of pursuing some leisurely reading. In recent years, however, I’ve really come into non-fiction because I feel like it makes me smarter and more well-read, and I love reading books about paranormal accounts!
Favorites in this genre: Secret Societies and Crazy Cults by Johnathan J. Moore, The Demonologist by Ed and Lorraine Warren, Death and the Afterlife by Clifford A. Pickover
MOST FAVORITE: GENERAL FICTION
What qualifies as ‘general fiction’ is always under some debate, especially when you’re trying to determine if a book is general fiction or literary fiction. But as a general rule, general fiction can be about pretty much anything! There’s tons of potential there, and as a result, a lot of really good books that I’ve enjoyed.
Favorites in this genre: Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk, The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
MOST FAVORITE: SCIENCE FICTION
I absolutely adore science fiction novels because there’s so much potential. They can be more dark and serious, or more lighthearted and optimistic. My grandfather was a huge science fiction nerd, and unfortunately I never was aware of this until after he passed away and I became a big book nerd. It’s so unfortunate because he would have had some great recommendations for me, and I think we’d have a lot of awesome conversations together.
Favorites in this genre: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, 1984 by George Orwell, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
MOST FAVORITE: HORROR/THRILLER
I’m Goth and I love spooky things, what can I say? I’m also a horror writer so the genre obviously has a big influence on me. The genre can be tough to read, as things can be slow-moving or the writing overly-flourished at times. But when a writer is able to scare you and leave an unpleasant feeling in your stomach, you know they’re really good at what they do.
Favorites in this genre: ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King, The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
MOST FAVORITE: YOUNG ADULT/MIDDLE GRADE
I included these two genres together because there tends to be a lot of overlapping audiences like in the case of Harry Potter or the Percy Jackson series. Young adult has really exploded in popularity in the past couple of years and I couldn’t be more thankful for that because it’s such an important genre; it speaks to and is mainly focused at audiences just coming into maturity. There’s always complex themes, even if they are underlying messages, and every young person needs strong, familiar role models to look up to.
Favorites in this genre: Eleanore and Park by Rainbow Rowell, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Every Day by David Levithan
ULTIMATE MOST FAVORITE: FANTASY
Oh fantasy, where would I be in my life without you? Fantasy has always been my favorite genre of book, movie, or television ever since I was a little kid. It’s associated with so many good childhood memories for me, and no matter how much I’ve read or seen, I always go back for more because I never tire of such creative worlds, fantasy creatures, and magic.
Favorites in this genre: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, The Princess Bride by William Goldman, the ‘Harry Potter’ series by J.K Rowling, the ‘Chronicles of Narnia’ series by C.S Lewis
And there you have it, all of my feelings and opinions on a bunch of different book genres, and some of my favorites from each one to inspire a growth to your TBR list. Thanks for sticking with me on a kinda long post, and please comment what your favorite genres are and some of the best books as well.
I hope you all have a great weekend,