My Varied Relationships With Various Genres

As most readers will attest to, we each have genres that we tend to prioritize, and others, that even if we love them, tend to fall to the wayside. Of course, each reader has a different list of genres they love, and their own hierarchy of the order they tend to use to prioritize their books. But there’s only one person writing this specific post, so today you’ll be hearing about the genres I prioritize, and why there are some genres that I love but rarely read. 

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First off, let’s start with the obvious! The three genres I prioritize the most are adult romance, YA contemporary, and middle grade graphic novels, in that order. While this wasn’t always the case, that’s the pattern that I’ve fallen into these past few years, so I’m not going to bother talking about the genres I used to prioritize. That could be a whole separate post! 

Now, you might think the reason why I prioritize those books is simple. I love those genres, and so I make time to read them. You’re right of course, but you don’t have the full reasoning just yet.

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You see, this past week I went to Barnes & Noble and when I was there, I picked up two books. That’s not unusual, as you’ll see in this month’s wrap up, I’ve acquired lots of books from various sources in January. What made me take note, and what inspired this post, was the fact that I bought books from two genres that I really enjoy, but that I rarely read from. So that of course got me thinking. Why is it that these genres that I enjoy don’t get the same time in my life for me to prioritize reading them? And there are multiple answers to that question.

I decided to break down the different reasons by using genres where that reason applies. Because while all the reasons I’ll mention are true, some are more specific, while others are more universal, and this way you’ll also get to hear a bit more about genres that I enjoy but rarely discuss.

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The first genre that I enjoy but don’t read much of is classic works. I happen to be one of those people that enjoy classics! As you know, I don’t think you need to have read any classics to be well-read, but since I have fun reading these works that are so often talked about, I used to spend some time picking up one to five a year. I think what’s changed for this genre in specific is brain power. If you’ve read my post about mindless books, you’ll know that my classwork is very draining, and so I have a hard time focusing on books that are not simple and easy to get through. And while I love classics, they can be quite dense! 

Classics also don’t really have new releases. I think the fact that they’ve existed for so long with such popularity makes me relaxed about when I pick these books up. After all, there’s no sequel coming out next month. I don’t have to worry about the book going out of print. Whenever I make the time to read whatever classic I decide to pick up, it will still be available for me to read. That takes the urgency out of needing to prioritize those books for me. That being said, now that I know why I haven’t picked up a classic in the last few years, I’d like to read one or two a year, whenever my brain can handle them of course!

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The next genre that I’ll mention is one that I’ve only dipped my toe into, but want to try more of. That genre is poetry! I picked up a collection that I read and loved last year, and I now have another two on my shelf. I’ve always enjoyed books in verse, but making the leap to poetry collections has been scary! 

I think my hesitation with this genre is two-fold. Firstly, I have to be wary of my triggers. Many poetry books delve into dark and deep themes, and while that’s great, that’s not something my mental health can handle at the moment. So finding poetry collections that are more lighthearted, and in the style I enjoy can be a challenge. 

This issue is combined with the second factor that makes reading poetry difficult, which is the fact that it can be hard for me to find poetry collections. Yes, I’m aware of Milk and Honey or The Princess Saves Herself In This One, but all the poetry collections I’ve picked up or have been interested in thus far have not been popular at all! And maybe this is just a case of me not looking in the right places, but I think that getting into a new genre is always difficult, and with the niche tastes and requirements I have, that difficulty grows exponentially. Because it’s highly improbable that I find someone with the same poetry tastes as me, but since I’m so new to the genre, I barely know how to filter out the books I’d enjoy from the ones I wouldn’t!

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Honestly, those two genres do a pretty good job of summarizing why it’s difficult for me to pick up any genre that I’m not consistently reading! I enjoy sci-fi occasionally, but don’t pick it up often. I love non-fiction, but only read about one of those a year. I used to enjoy middle grade fantasy, but I haven’t picked one of those up in ages! 

I think sometimes I also get so caught up in the genres that I love, that I forget to make room for the genres that I care about to a lesser degree. I don’t think that non-fiction will ever be my favorite genre, but I do enjoy it! So I would love to make more time for it!

This post turned into a rant about the different genres I want to dabble in sometimes soon, and I’m fine with that. But I think it was important for me to take the time to break down the reasons that I don’t read these genres, and to take note of which genres I want to read more from, that way I can make changes to my reading. Honestly, I don’t think I’ll make any major changes to the genres I prioritize while I’m still in school, but I would like to occasionally dip my toe into a genre I haven’t read in a while, until I have time to actually focus on diversifying the genres that I read in a more extensive way!


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What are some genres you enjoy, but haven’t picked up in a while? Which genres do you prioritize? What are some reasons that you don’t branch out in terms of genre?

30 thoughts on “My Varied Relationships With Various Genres

    1. Yes! Classics can take a while to get through, which can sometimes frustrate me, and make me less likely to pick them up. Although in the end I still enjoy classics, so I still try to pick them up from time to time!

      And new releases can definitely stress me out when there’s an overwhelming amount of books that come out in a short period of time and I don’t see any possible way to read enough books to keep up! But even so I find that I tend to prioritize newer books than more backlist titles!

      Thank you! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I feel you on not currently having the braincells for classics 😭 I used to read them ALL the time as a kid, and I love them, but they’re usually so long and hard to read, and I just don’t have the time currently. I miss the genre, though!

    One genre I really would like to read more of but haven’t is sci-fi. I like most of the sci-fi I’ve read, but for some reason I don’t tend to pick it up.

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    1. I thought college was supposed to make me smarter, and yet I feel as though I never have enough brain cells by the end of each day of classes. My peak of reading classics was definitely during middle school and high school! I find it so much fun to see all the famous scenes and talked about characters, but it definitely takes lots of time to read any classic, no matter how short, and I just don’t have that kind of time in recent years! I’m excited for when I have the time to read them again!

      Yes! Someone was asking for sci-fi recommendations on a Discord group I’m a part of, and as I scrolled through Goodreads looking for recs, I realized that while I’ve loved the sci-fi I read, I don’t read it all that often! And all the sci-fi that I tend to read are the super popular ones, like The Martian or A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet.

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  2. Interesting post Malka! Nonfiction and poetry are genres I want to get into more this year, because I haven’t prioritized them much before. I don’t read a lot of romance and contemporary though, I’m a hardcore science fiction and fantasy reader 😅

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    1. Thank you!

      As I mentioned, I just bought a poetry collection, and I have another two that I want to buy, so I’m hoping that I might end up reading some poetry this year, and hopefully, each year I can steadily increase the amount of poetry I read! As for non-fiction, I usually manage to slip in one or two reads each year, but there are so many topics that I’m interested in that I wish I picked up non-fiction works more often!

      I used to be a fantasy and sci-fi reader, but over the years as life got busier, contemporary and romance just worked their way in to my most read genres, and now I can’t imagine prioritizing any other genres!

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  3. I’m exactly the same with classics! I enjoy reading them when I get around to it, but I don’t often prioritise them. I think part of it was being forced to read so many books when I was at university (I did English Literature), so I didn’t end up reading anything else for a few years. So I just took a big long break from them. But I would like to read some this year, particularly the two Jane Austen books I’ve never read.
    Great post!

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    1. That’s a really great way of putting it! I feel the exact same way about classics! I love the majority of the ones I pick up, but I seem to just not prioritize reading them enough!

      I think I’m one of the few people that enjoyed assigned classics in high school, but I think that’s very different from a major in university where it can feel more overwhelming. My major has nothing to do with classic literature, or really literature in general, but it still keeps me from reading classics on my own time by stealing all of my brain cells to focus on science and math.

      I really hope you get around to the classics you have your eye on and that you enjoy them! I also have a few classics that I’d love to read this year, although I’m not pressuring myself until I have the time and brainpower to focus on them!

      Thank you! 💕

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  4. Classics and Shakespeare are two things I want to read more of but often don’t, and you’re so right it’s deifnitely to do with the fact that there is no sequel coming out so there seems like less urgency? For me I find that I read a lot of mystery/thriller which leaves me less time to read other books I enjoy such as ya contemporary, business non-fiction, and fantasy (a genre I used to love a lot but have sort of grown apart from). And so true about poetry, I really like but aside from Rupi Kaur I don’t really know where to start? A collection I read that you might like is Wild Embers by Nikita Gill.

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    1. Oh, yes! I would say I’ve read quite a few classics, but my Shakespeare knowledge is a lot more bare bones. Although I think that’s because there’s so many references and so much depth to all his plays that I’m very intimidated by them! And the fact that it’s not urgent that I read them doesn’t help matters!

      I definitely understand that feeling of having one or two genres taking up most of your reading time, leaving very little space for all the other genres you enjoy. Apparently, so far in 2021, I’ve only read from my favorite two genres! I really need to diversify my genres a bit!

      As for the poetry, maybe I’ll do a post once I’ve read some more collections? At this point I’ve read one I really like, have 2 on my TBR, and have one on its way to me. So I think once I read the 3 unread ones, I might make a discussion/recommendation post where I hopefully have some knowledge and insight to share with you! And I’ll definitely be checking out Wild Embers now! Thanks so much for the recommendation!

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  5. As someone who rarely branches out of the contemporary YA zone I found this post so interesting! Classics is definitely a genre that I enjoy but rarely branch out into as well. I have my favourites that I always revert back to when I want a classic book but I should really read some new ones! My personal faves are Anne of Green Gables, Jane Eyre and I Capture the Castle. So many I should get to it at some point though! P&P is one I’ve been meaning to read for ages because it’s a classic classic you know – I mean it basically started the whole enemies to lovers trope!
    I definitely want to go more out of my comfort zone with genres though! Even genres I have loved in the past like YA fantasy I tend to read less often. I have so many YA fantasy books on my tbr but yet I haven’t got to them just because I always find them quite intimidating?! I also want to try and read more adult books but that’s definitely out of my comfort zone at this point!
    Great post and this was so interesting to read :).

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    1. I think it’s really easy to stick to your comfort zone, even when there are other genres that you enjoy. For me at least, I get so caught up in one or two genres that I love, that I just forget to make time for other genres, even though I still hold that same love for them!

      In terms of classics though, it’s a bit different, because those require extra brain power from me that I’ve found I just don’t have while in college. I can’t even reread old favorites, as much as I’d like to! The whole genre just doesn’t seem approachable at the moment, so I’m going to have to wait a bit before reintroducing classics into my reading again! Also, I totally understand what you mean about Pride & Prejudice being a classic classic. I feel like P&P is one of the first books to come to mind when people even mention the word classics!

      Getting out of my comfort zone is always such a struggle, so I wish you the best with trying to branch out. Hopefully once you get started with YA fantasy the rest of the ones on your TBR will be less intimidating! I feel like there should be a readathon or something that has nothing to do with genre or page length, and just has to do with helping readers finally read the books they’re intimidated by or have been pushing off for years! I think my one tip for getting introduced/reintroduced to a genre is to pick a book that you see highly recommended and that interests you a lot. That way you’re very likely to love it!

      Thank you! 💕

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  6. I can’t believe I have spent my life wondering why I don’t pick up classics only to realise now, because of reading this post, that it’s because they don’t have new releases. This is also pretty much the reason I rarely read my owned books – there’s no timeframe on them.
    I think the genre I prioritise the most is fantasy, because all the blurbs sounds so good :’) I think the main reason I don’t branch out too often with genres is that I, most of the time, just read books on a whim. I see someone mention a book in a blog post that I’m really drawn to and I will put it on hold at my library right away. I’m trying to get better with intentionally picking books to read, and I have had some success with that.

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    1. Right? I mean, even for books that are standalones, I always want to read the author’s most current title before they release their newest book! But there’s no such urgency with classics. Whatever the author wrote is already out there and you can read them all when you’re ready. Having a timeframe makes a huge difference!

      I used to love fantasy, but I rarely read it nowadays in favor of cuteness and a happily ever after. I think I’m actually the opposite of you when it comes to branching out! I see synopses and immediately decide a book isn’t for me, even if that may not be true! I limit myself only to the books I think I’ll enjoy the most, which means I’m not trying new things all that often! I’m not too mad about that method, since I’m just hoping to find books I love this way, but I would like to eventually try something that has an interesting premise and is out of my comfort zone, even if I’m more uncertain about loving it.

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  7. I feel the same way about both classics and poems. I think my problem with classics is that they take me much longer to read and I’m always scared that I won’t like them. And poetry just really overwhelms me. They are super quick reads, but I don’t really know where to start because it is so much more subjective than books, which already are subjective.

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    1. Yes! I take a super long time to read classics because it takes me a while to break down the convoluted sentences into words that make sense! And then sometimes I’m so lost that I have to break out a dictionary to understand some of the words. Classics definitely take way more brainpower than my usual reads, that’s for sure!

      And I totally get that with poetry. It’s hard to know if you’ll like a poet until you’ve already read their poetry, if that makes any sense! I know that a lot of poets have some of their work posted on line though, so maybe testing out the waters with an easy to find short poem from various poets might help? I’m still developing my poetry tastes, but once I figure it out a bit more I’m hoping to write a post about the experience, which hopefully will include some helpful tips for finding poems and poets that you’ll enjoy!

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  8. I used to adore classics as a child, but now I don’t think I’ve read one since childhood! My main genres are Sci-Fi, Contemporary, Fantasy, and graphic novels.

    I do sometimes pick up different books that I hear about which sound interesting, but I don’t go out of my way to discover things in different genres. I wouldn’t, for instance, go to the crime thrillers in a bookstore to find a new read.

    I understand why people want to branch out and try new things, but I also don’t think there’s anything wrong with sticking with what you know you like! Comfort zones are comfy for a reason 😄

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    1. I just checked and I haven’t read a classic since high school! And since I’ll be graduating from college in a year, I’d say it’s been a while! Also, those are 4 pretty different genres that you read! I feel like my top 3 are pretty similar, so at least you have some more variety in terms of what you tend to read in general!

      I think I do the same, but very rarely! And there are some genres that I just have no interest in trying out. But if a book is in a genre I’m interested in and comes highly recommended, then when I’m looking for something different, I might take it out from the library to try it out.

      Oh, I definitely agree with you on this! I have no intention of reading less romance or contemporary or graphic novels! I just think that it would be nice to remind myself every once in a while that there are other genres I enjoy and should give a try sporadically! But for most of the year I definitely want to stay in my comfortable zone surrounded by my favorite genres!

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  9. this is such a great and interesting post!! as a college student too, i definitely relate to not having enough brain cells to understand to get through a classic haha. i’ve definitely been gravitating towards lighthearted and fluffy YA contemporaries/romances these days, bc i read for escapism and serotonin and just want to read things that make my heart warm ☺️ and sometimes if i want a more emotional read that reminds me that i have feelings (haha), then i would pick up a darker YA fantasy or contemporary. i haven’t really read outside of the contemporary or fantasy genres in a while, and i don’t think i will anytime soon. really enjoyed reading your thoughts on these different genres and why you do/don’t read them :))

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    1. Thank you!

      I feel like at the end of a long day where my brain was stuffed with tons of information and equations and theories, the last thing I want to do is pick up a book that requires any brain cells! I’ve been reaching only for romance and graphic novels these past few months because my brain just refuses to accept anything else!

      For me I’m purely reading for the escapism, and so I never really reach for hard-hitting contemporary or darker fantasy. I just stick to my two or three genres that make me happy, and read a chapter of something new here and there as an attempt to diversify the genres I read. I just don’t feel like now is the time to force myself to branch out. When I have the time and energy, these sidelined genres will still be there waiting for me to try them out again!

      I’m so glad you enjoyed this post! It was great reading about your thoughts on different genres as well! 💕

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  10. I love fantasy but like reading high fantasy takes a lot of me these days 😂 I used to read more when I was younger but now I’ve found my sweet spot in the fantasy genre of urban fantasy/paranormal romance as they’re my favourite genres that I will consistently waddle back to. Contemporary is one I fluctuate with, a lot of the ones I own are more heavy and deal with important topics but there’s times where I just want the fluffy side. Sci-fi and dystopian I love too but rarely pick them up and the same goes for poetry. I’ll pick it up if friend yell at me too though 🤣 loved this post Malka, it’s definitely interesting to think about all the genres we love but don’t prioritise for whatever reason. 💜

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    1. Yesss! I used to read so much fantasy when I was younger, and now I barely even look at the genre anymore! It’s so strange how drastically my tastes changed in that area. Maybe someday I’ll become an avid fantasy reader once again. Who knows!

      Contemporary romance and graphic novels have been my rocks these past few years. Even when I feel at my slumpiest, those two genres nearly always work for me! For me, all contemporary must remain on the fluffy side, or I won’t even consider picking it up. The hard hitting contemporaries that I read are few and far between!

      Sci-fi on the other hand, I think I enjoy, but I honestly haven’t read enough of to figure out all my feelings. I’m more sure that I love poetry and non-fiction, even though I don’t prioritize them. But I definitely agree that if a friend yells at me to read a book from almost any genre, if I trust that they know my reading tastes, they have the best chance at convincing me to pick a random genre up!

      Thank you so much! I’m so glad that you enjoyed, and I loved hearing your thoughts on various genres and your relationship with each of them! 💕

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  11. I keep thinking that one day I’ll be ready to read more classics but they left such a bad taste in my mouth when I was in school that I just can’t get excited about trying again 40 years later.

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    1. I definitely hear that! I happened to enjoy most of my reading for school, so that’s not what keeps me from picking up classics. But I completely understand why a bad experience with a genre would keep you from ever returning and picking up something similar!

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