I’ve looked at reader personality and learned that certain personalities tend to stick to genre and certain personalities are generalist readers. Today I want to explore this idea a bit deeper. Most of us have brand preferences because we know we can count on them to satisfy us. For example, if you’re a genre reader, who likes mystery, you expect the mystery book you pick up to have a dead body, clues, red herrings, and unanswered questions that are resolved in the end. If the book doesn’t do those things, you are disappointed. But, there are some people who go about life in a very different way. They like change. They do not enjoy the predictability of a genre. In other words, they find genre reading tiresome.
They are simply preferences. Many people fall in the middle of the continuum. They read genre but they also read many different types of books for variety. Nonetheless if you hear someone say, “I never read fiction” or “I never read poetry” or “I don’t like science fiction.” You are probably talking to a genre reader vs. a generalist reader who will try anything.
- Do you know what your favorite reading genre is?
- When you browse for books, do you go to the shelves with your preferred genre verses wandering around the entire store. If online, do you browse the genre categories verses books in general.
- Look at your personal library. Do you have ten of fifteen books representing one genre verses a mixture of many genres?
- When your favorite author strays into another genre, do you cry in frustration and go back to that author’s older books versus reading that new genre?
- Are you a member of a genre book club (Mystery readers or Fantasy readers).
- If someone gives you a book that is outside of your usual reading habits–poetry or history–do you regift that book?
- Do your friends all read the same types of books?
- Do you subscribe to or want to subscribe to genre magazines, related to science-fiction or mystery or fantasy?
- Do you attend chat groups or other online interaction groups related to a particular genre?
- If you were a writer, could you identify a particular genre you’d like to write?
Easy little quiz to determine if you’re a genre reader or not. You can clearly tell by your answers what you are, but generally, if you answered “Yes” to 6 or more questions, you are likely a genre reader.