Do you read primarily one main genre? Or do you read several?
My favorite is contemporary Christian fiction along the lines of the Mitford series by Jan Karon. I love to hear about everyday people, their encounters with problems and neighbors and loved ones, and how God works in and through them. I have learned from and been deeply affected by Christian fiction..
But I also read a lot of historical fiction and a fair amount of suspense. I am not a big fan of romance. Most fiction has a love story, but I like books that have more to them than that. I don’t care for westerns or Amish fiction, but I have read some of each. I enjoyed some fantasy or speculative fiction. I wouldn’t read horror or erotica.
I love biographies and memoirs. Some biographies have had a profound influence on my life.
I read a lot of Christian nonfiction and enjoy it, but I have to make myself start and keep going with most of it. I gravitate more to stories.
I also like many classics. Someone once said “A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.” Classics still speak to us today even though writing styles and society customs have changed.
I read a little from non-Christian sources. Unfortunately, much secular fiction has a lot of language, sexuality, or gratuitous violence problems, which I don’t want to read. And you have to keep on guard against wrong philosophies. But some of it is still beneficial.
One reason I ask is just because I am interested. I love to talk books and reading interests.
But I am also curious. I’ve heard and read that authors should write primarily one genre so readers know what to expect from them. If they write in another genre, they’re told they’ll need to search for another audience. Some go so far to say that authors should use pen names if they write in two different genres.
That makes sense. If a writer is known for Amish fiction, it would be jarring to her readers to get that author’s latest work and discover it’s a gruesome murder mystery.
On the other hand, I have followed authors over to a different genre from what I have read from them before. In fact, I am more likely to try a different genre if an author I like has written in it, if only to see how they handle it. I wouldn’t want a favorite author to use a pen name for a different genre, unless they make it known that they’re doing so, because that makes it harder for fans to follow their work.
So I can see the wisdom of not disappointing readers who come to expect a certain kind of story from an author. And it’s probably wise for those just getting started to stay with one genre until they get established.
But I think sometimes a genre crossover can work.
What do you think? Would you follow an author from one genre to another? And what’s your favorite genre? Do you read more than one?