I have a fairly good sense of what I like to read, but that doesn’t mean my reading tastes are singular. I go through phases with what I like and I like trying new things from time to time. But in general, I think I can narrow it down to 5 different genres that I will always enjoy.
Favorite reading genres
So the books you see in this blog post represent the rough genres that I enjoy. Thinking about it though, there are many crossover and niche genres that could fit within these categories that I also love. Take coming of age stories for instance: I love a good story where a character learns something about themselves or where you follow some for part or all of their lives. But that could fit into several of the categories I’m about to tell you more about.
Surprise, surprise. I just recently did a guide to Gothic fiction, so you knew this would be coming. While not the most recent genre that I’m digging, this has been one of the longest standing ones. I’ve loved all things vampires, ghosts, zombie, witches and monsters since I was a kid. Vampires being my favorite. If a book boasts supernatural beings in extremely gloomy settings with lots of dead and decay, then I’m usually game. Call me morbid, but I like how most Gothic novels do not really ‘go there’ and leave a lot to the imagination. Sometimes the suggestion of something happening can work much better than blatantly turning a book (or a movie for that sense) in a gory blood fest.
I love books that have a strong historic element to it. Even if the majority of the book is a contemporary story, I love books that explore the history of people and places. Especially if said book is set in a particular city that I like, know and love, such as New York or London, I can get totally sucked into the story. Sometimes I’ll read is a true period piece: set completely in a certain era, Victorian London being my favorite. But I also truly enjoy books that show us how history shapes the spaces we live in and how it affects the lives people live now. I mainly just love books that have a good historic backdrop that adds to the context of the novel.
Most of the fantasy I’ve read to far is YA fantasy, but I also enjoy a good urban fantasy tale. I’ve yet to try the more hardcore Game of Thrones type fantasy, but I’m sure I will some time soon. This is definitely the newest addition to my reading genre preferences, as I only started reading this a few years ago. Mainly because I discovered booktube, but also because I wanted to explore more genres beyond the realms of classic and modern/ contemporary literature, which is what I mostly read at uni. It took me a few years to ween myself off of feeling the need to only read books that have a certain merit to them. I’ve decided that I read to escape and to be entertained mostly and YA fantasy is the ultimate guilty pleasure.
This may be a bit of a sub genre, but in my bookcase the historic detective is a beast of its own. Starting with Sherlock Holmes, I am a sucker for books set in the Victorian era that have a detective solving cases. If said detective then tries to use ‘cutting edge’ technology to do so, then it’s even better. I have several books concerning this, but I’m also a sucker for books that have detectives trying to solve historic cases. Especially if they are accurate and feel real, I’m all for it, but if a book feels like it’s trying too hard to be authentic I usually end up getting bored. It needs to have just the right blend of historic fact, engaging characters and an action packed plot for me to enjoy myself in these.
I love loving puzzles and riddles. There’s a reason why my Hogwarts’ House is Ravenclaw and that is best showcased by my love for detectives, or books that give you a puzzle to solve. Not necessarily thrillers, though I love some of those too, but just the thinking process of a good whodunnit is always enthralling. I don’t like all detectives though and I find that if I read too many by the same author, I easily get bored as plots become predictable. But a good detective once in a while always gets my spirits up.
What are your favorite reading genres?