Genre Discrimination


Are you guilty of discriminating against a genre? Maybe you just think anyone who reads something from *that* genre is a little beneath you…or at least has bad taste. You would never pick up a book from *that* genre because it just isn’t your “type.” I think all of us have done this at some point. However, I try to read broadly. Probably the only genres I purposely avoid are horror and paranormal YA romance. I have my personal reasons for that, and I don’t judge people who do read those genres. But sometimes I do forget that some people never read outside a certain genre. I’ve had friends and certain boyfriends who were like this. To be honest, it drives me insane.

Why am I thinking about this? I read, as many of you may have, Nic Waldham’s post about why writers should read outside their genre. I was a little surprised when I ran across the post. I had assumed that his conclusion should be obvious to people, especially writers! But apparently not.

In a short form, why read other genres? Because they’re different. Different plots, characters, styles, vocabulary, maybe thoughts. You might find another genre boring or funny or thought-provoking. But without question, it will be different. Visit a new section of your library or bookstore and take home something new!

Which genres are you biased against? Are there any you kind of want to try, but haven’t?

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4 thoughts on “Genre Discrimination

  1. I tend to discriminate against romance novels. When they work, it’s absolutely fabulous and I fall completely in love. Sadly, that only happens once every 20 books or so. I’ve been thinking about writing a romance novel, but I’m just not sure how to go about it.

    • I completely understand this! For many years I stayed out of the romance genre entirely. I am slowly entering it….but like you, I am mostly disappointed. However, I find it an interesting study – the romance genre has patterns and vocabulary unique to it. I suppose that’s the way I try to look at genres I don’t like – it’s a bit like visiting another culture and observing everything that’s different.

      You should try writing a romance novel sometime! It could never hurt. 🙂

  2. Love this post and how you don’t discriminate against people who read the genres you avoid – there are lessons to be learned in every form of writing. While I usually young-adult or adult fiction that centers around contemporary issues or romance, I’ll still read the occasional science-fiction or fantasy story… what I need to do is to catch up on poetry.

    • I am absolutely with you – lessons can be learned from every single genre. My poetry reading is patchy, at best. There are poems I really love, and when I read poetry, I tend to find more. But….I just don’t read poetry very often. I have to be in a good mood.

      You ought to look up Mary Oliver. I really enjoyed her poetry and it seems like some of it might resonate with you as well.

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