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What genres do you read most?

Discussion in 'Novels & Stories' started by Steerpike, Aug 31, 2017.

  1. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

    I'm curious what the cross-section of genre readership looks like here. Do people read exclusively fantasy? I like anything so long as it is well-done, from Romance (though I admittedly read little of it) to Horror. If I had to guess, the breakdown for me is probably as follows:

    20% Fantasy
    20% Science Fiction
    15% Classics/Literary
    15% Mystery/detective/thriller (yeah, I'm lumping here)
    15% YA
    10% Horror
    5% other

    Of course, there is overlap in the above. A classic might also be a detective novel or SF, for example.
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  2. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    I will readily admit that I don't read enough stories, so I've been keeping it strictly to fantasy and have been fairly picky about what books I choose.

    I keep up with a ton with current events, business articles, that kind of thing. I get a daily email from Quora with people answering questions like "What was your most embarrassing moment?" or "What was the saddest thing you've ever said to someone?" There are also questions on history, "Who was the most evil person in history?" The top answers are usually excellent story fuel.
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  3. Orc Knight

    Orc Knight Auror

    I don't think I could pull percentages that simply. But a lot of fantasy and the sub genres within it. From supernatural mystery to parody and the normal sort of fiction. A fair bit of sci-fi, mostly military sci-fi. Also parodies of it, like Hard Luck Hank. A little bit of romance, though again, mostly as a part of fantasy. And a lot of the classics, from War of the Worlds to Conan. I do mostly stay in fantasy fiction and sci-fi though.
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  4. pmmg

    pmmg Istar

    I will take a guess at:

    40% Classical Literature
    40% SciFi/Fantasy
    30% WIP's
    10% Educational stuff
    2-5% other stuff

    (but wait, that does not add up...)

    Truth is, I am not really a reader, and rarely read for enjoyment. I read mostly to learn stuff.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2017
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  5. Mytherea

    Mytherea Minstrel

    I mostly read fantasy (high fantasy, epic fantasy, urban fantasy, historical fantasy--you name it), a little science fiction (mostly space opera), a little horror, certain varieties of paranormal romance, certain varieties of mysteries (particularly historical mysteries set prior (or just prior) to the advent of forensic investigation), the occasional classic lit or lit fic book, though it has to be recommended, and some nonfiction (for research purposes, mostly).
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  6. Zeppo

    Zeppo Dreamer

    I've been reading mostly sci-fi lately, with some fantasy. I don't really read much beyond that.
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  7. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

    In the last 6 weeks [and ignoring what I have to read for work]:
    Classic Noire Crime 50% [If was written or set after 1950 I'm probably not interested]
    Fantasy 30% [Mainly humorous, but an eclectic mix otherwise]
    Non-fiction 20% [Mainly travel books - I like a good traveller's tale]
    and then anything else that I find that looks good [I've got an illustrated copy of Ben Hur to read].
    If you include work it's about 35% E-Prime cookbooks, 35% Tobii Eye-tracker manuals and 30% what's above.
    and BTW but if anyone knows of a good teach-yourself E-Prime book...
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  8. Largely YA fantasy, classical lit, and a mix of historical fiction and alternate history type stuff. I will read outside my preferred genres on occasion but this is mainly it.
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  9. Corwynn

    Corwynn Troubadour

    I think it goes without saying that speculative fiction makes up a significant portion of what we read. So I guess it would make sense to list the subgenres I like.

    The Punk genres: Steampunk, clockpunk, cyberpunk, solarpunk, raygun gothic, you name it. I like the far-out technologies and the warped and slightly overwhelmed societies that grow up around them.
    Gaslamp Fantasy: Fantasy in a 19th century or pseudo-19th century setting. Gaslamp fantasy is to fantasy what Steampunk is to sci-fi, but the two can overlap.
    New Weird: Speculative Fiction that blurs the lines between genres and bucks the usual clichés. Jeff Vandermeer is an author who writes in this genre. Frequently overlaps with any of the above.
    Urban Fantasy: However, I strongly prefer fictional cities to real ones.
    Gothic Horror: I don’t usually care for horror, but I like works with a rich setting that evokes a sense of dread, foreboding, or isolation.
    Hard SF: Given my love of weirdness and the fantastic, I’m not sure why I find hard SF so appealing. Perhaps it’s the fine detail and sense of immersion that you don’t quite get in softer sci-fi.
    Young Adult: YA stories have fast-paced action that make it easy to stay involved. It’s not so much that I like the genre in and of itself, but that I find myself less likely to bog down or get distracted.

    In addition, there are a number of story types that I enjoy, but aren’t tied to any specific genre. Lately I’ve been contemplating these to figure out what sort of stories I want to write. Here are a few of them.

    Globe-Trotting Adventures: A nice way of exploring a setting extensively, if a bit contrived.
    Nautical Adventures: The Age of Sail is an interest of mine, and I enjoy stories that involve old sailing ships, especially when they overlap with the above. Other types of ship, like airships or spaceships, can work too.
    Whodunnits: I like the challenge of figuring out who is responsible and how it was accomplished. Oddly, I never read mystery novels, but I consume mysteries in other media.
    Treasure Hunts: I like stories that involve old legends, such as lost worlds, ancient ruins, or buried treasure, and those who seek them out.
    Immersion Stories: I don’t know if there is a name for this type of story, but I like stories where I am deeply immersed in a particular time and place, be it real or imaginary.
    Small Town Stories: A story or series that focuses on a small town (nearly always fictional) and its inhabitants. I enjoy the intimacy and slice of life nature of these stories.
    Political Intrigues: I do enjoy a bit of politicking, but I prefer to stick to fictional politics because I’m pretty disillusioned with the real world version.

    There probably a few that I forgot, but these are the ones that came to mind.
  10. Tom

    Tom Istar

    I think for the most part I read fantasy, with some sci-fi and classics thrown in. My favorite subgenres within fantasy would probably be urban and high fantasy. Historical fiction of any kind and I have never gotten along well, so I stick mainly to stories set either in modern times or a non-earth world. Aside from fiction, I also read a fair amount of poetry--mostly free-form or conceptual. Poetic works that don't adhere to a traditional rhythmic structure and rhyme scheme fascinate me.
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  11. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Auror

    The vast majority of what I read for pleasure is fantasy. Fantasy is the only genre I actively seek out. I'll pick up a scfi or historical or mystery or whatever here and there if I see them recommended. Within the umbrella of Fantasy I read a lot of mythology and epic/high fantasy. once again, I'll read other kinds of fantasy if it's recommended to me, but I don't actively seek them out. I also read a huge amount of classic fantasy (and a lot of classics that border on fantasy).

    I also read a lot of manga both with fantasy elements and without. Though most of my favorites are fantasy/supernatural.
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  12. This is a fantastic set of genres and topics to explore in reading and writing. What's clockpunk? Never heard of it.
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  13. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

    About half of what I read is fantasy, with an especial eye out for alternate history fantasy.

    The other half is a wide variety. I have a book list that I made years ago of books I think I should or want to read. I'm reading Willa Cather's One of Ours right now. It's curious but I have found more usable ideas in the non-fantasy books than in the fantasy. John Dos Passos' USA trilogy, James M. Cain Double Indemnity, Charles Portis' True Grit and a half dozen more. While a few books have been a slog, it's surprising how many of them are good reads.
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  14. Corwynn

    Corwynn Troubadour

    Essentially, it's what comes before steampunk. Imagine a world in which Leonardo da Vinci's inventions were actually built and became widespread and you have clockpunk in a nutshell. Renaissance Italy is a popular setting, but it can go as late as the 18th century. As its name suggests, the emphasis is on technology powered by clockwork.
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  15. Oh, that sounds awesome!

    i would appreciate recommendations actually if you have any.
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  16. Aurora

    Aurora Sage

    Fantasy, cozy mystery, non-fiction, historical anything, sci-fi, women's fiction. I don't really discriminate. I even enjoy reading romance.
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  17. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

    I prefer stories that mash genres I like, but then again, some of my favorites are straight within a single genre.

    If I were to break down by percentages like the OP, it'd look something like this:

    20% Fantasy
    10% Science Fiction
    5% Classics
    10% Literary
    10% Mystery/detective
    30% Thriller
    5% YA
    10% Horror

    Like I said at the beginning though, if I can find a recommended book that has a little fantasy, a dash of horror, a nice suspenseful thriller element, all rolled up in a mystery, well that's my preferred cup of tea.
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  18. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

    Have you read The Rook? One reviewer on Goodreads calls it "This book is X-Men meets X-Files meets The Bourne Identity meets Johnny English." I quite liked it.

    The Rook (The Checquy Files, #1) by Daniel O'Malley ? Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists
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  19. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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  20. Aryth

    Aryth Minstrel

    No, I don't read exclusively fantasy though it is probably my favorite genre. I get hooked on a certain genre and then move on to another depending upon what I come across. The breakdown right now probably looks something like this:
    40% manga (mystery, thriller, romance)
    30% fantasy
    20% religious
    And 10% left for school-related reading (homework...yuck). Thankfully my professors don't exactly check to see if we do the reading...;)
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