May 17, 2020

Discussion: What's Your Favourite Book Genre?

Hello, everyone! It's been a while since I've been thinking that I wanted to try something different than the regular book reviews and bookish lists that I post here. So, I have decided to start a new section for my blog, where I will discuss various things, both in reading and writing. I will try to keep a schedule and post a new discussion topic every Sunday. Today’s topic is pretty self-explanatory – we are going to talk about our favourite book genres.

What is Your Favourite Book Genre?

If you take a look at your bookshelves, you will notice that you more or less tend to read some specific genres. Most of us, have 3-4 genres that we usually prefer. This is our compass that helps us pick up books from the library or the bookstore. In every genre we like, we know the tropes and what to expect. The genre sets the book’s pace and tone. Therefore, every time you pick a book, you have some very specific expectations.

What happens when the book fails to follow the trends of its genre? This is a very interesting question. When this happens, you will immediately notice that something is “wrong”. It might feel refreshing, or it might prevent you from enjoying the whole experience. This is a coin that the author tosses when he makes this choice.

Our favourite genres are our comfort zones. They feel good because they are familiar. You read fantasy because you like exploring all those new worlds. You read mystery because you like to feel the thrill. You like romance because it makes your heart skip a beat. After a long day at work, you only need to feel the things you are craving for – that’s what your favourite genre offers you.

There is even a website, What Should I Read Next?, that asks you to type an author or book title and makes suggestions based on that.

How Can you Challenge Yourself?

Even so, once in a while it is nice to go out of your comfort zone and maybe discover new things. It is certainly a challenge, but this process will broaden your horizons. Read a book from a genre you have never tried before, or an author that you have thought that his writing style is difficult. Take your time and try to pinpoint what makes this genre attractive.

In the end, it might not become your next favourite thing. Nevertheless, you have more to gain than to lose.

What are My Favourite Genres?

If you take a look at my bookshelves, you will find books from many different genres. If I had to choose the four most common genres, I’d say that I read mostly literary fiction, fantasy, graphic novels, and classics. You can take just a taste of my bookshelves from this collage.

Last year, I decided to start reading something out of my comfort zone – science non-fiction books. I bought A Brief History of Time from a used-books bookstore, a book which I dreaded. At school, I was never good at science, even though I really liked mathematics, and mostly the theory of mathematics. So, reading a book about space-time and black holes would definitely be a challenge. I have to admit that reading A Brief History of Time took me some time, but I did finish it and I did understand most of it. I was so hooked with the book that I read another one, called We are All Stardust (it’s written by a Greek astrophysicist in Greek, so this title is just my translation). Then, I returned to Stephen Hawking and read Brief Answers to the Big Questions. Now, I am even planning to read Death by Black Hole sometime in the near future. It’s not much, but it’s definitely something out of my comfort zone.

However, there is an obvious elephant in the room that we haven’t discussed. As you might already know, my favourite author is David Mitchell and my favourite book is Cloud Atlas. You might say that this book falls under the literary fiction genre, even though that is not quite correct. You see, some books bend the genres and create something unique. There are no boundaries to the imagination and these books dare to combine elements from different genres. Think of Haruki Murakami’s or Neil Gaiman’s work. This Flavorwire’s list of genre-bending books can give you an idea of what to expect from books like that.

Earlier, when I was thinking about the four genres I would write down, I faced a big dilemma. I was staring at my bookshelves looking for the specific genres that these books are. The truth is, I can’t say for sure! I enjoy genre-bending novels and this is the reason why I don’t have a favourite genre.

This was it for today! What do you think about challenging ourselves with genres we are not usually reading? What was that last book you’ve read that made you go out of your comfort zone? Last but not least, don’t forget to vote for your favourite genre in the poll below!


  1. This was a very interesting post, Konna! As I answered in the form, my favourite genre is mythology. It usually gets grouped with fantasy, but is a little more specific because I am very picky with my fantasy books haha! I am trying to reach more outside of my comfort zone when it comes to fantasy books though.

    1. Thank you :)
      Yes, I was working for a writer in the paranormal shifter romance genre, so I understand exactly what you mean. Even under the same "fantasy" umbrella, each sub-genre uses different tropes. It's great that you are trying to expand your reading :)

  2. I so many favorite genres. I like thrillers, literary fiction, fantasy, paranormal, dystopian, and romance :)

    Beena @ Beena Khan

    1. This is awesome! It makes your reading more diverse :)

  3. I like to be thrilled, whether in fright or delight. :-)

  4. It was gutsy of you to try science non-fiction, since it sounds as far as your typical reads as it can be. I'm never that adventurous LOL. Like, I'm not a fan of straight-up/high fantasy (though I do like some urban fantasy), and the mere mention of kings and princesses and magicians turns me, even when a friend I trust tells me they enjoyed a certain fantasy books and it was a fresh take on the genre, I never muster the courage to try it.

    My favourite genre is something I call "afterlife" - books with dead characters having adventures in the everafter, or undead characters (but not zombies LOL), or ghost characters. I don't know why I'm so fascinated by them! I also like sci-fi (especially time travel) and supernatural stories, and classic thrillers like Agatha Christie's. Basically, everything but fantasy and romance LOL.

    1. I mean, I always wanted to read some science non-fiction, it seemed so interesting! But I always thought that there was no way I could understand them!

      Afterlife? I have never heard of this sub-genre before! I knew that in paranormal they use ghosts and angels, but a whole story taking place in the afterlife? Which book would you recommend? I'd like to see what it's all about!


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