What genres don’t you read?

14/01/2015 Discussions, Reading 38

What genres don't you read?

On the whole, I’d say I’m a pretty varied reader: I’ll read anything from literary fiction and the classics to sci-fi, fantasy, historical and YA fiction. Yet there are a select few genres I rarely if ever, explore, whether that’s consciously or not, and I’d be really interested to know what genres other people don’t read and why!

Once again I should probably do a bit of a disclaimer – these are just genres I don’t personally enjoy, and I’m in no way intending to offend anyone if they do like these genres!

So here goes!

Crime Fiction

This is kind of a weird one seen as one of my favourite series is Stieg Larsson’s Millenium trilogy (a crime fiction trilogy!), but to be honest, they are the only crime books I have ever really enjoyed reading. I’m not a fan of too much graphic gore (I did feel a bit queasy reading some of the descriptions of the murders in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo!) and I think a lot of detective fiction can be a bit formulaic and predictable. I’ve always been kind of interested to read Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes books though (and I love the Sherlock TV series!), so I’ll maybe have to give crime fiction another go!


I’m really not good with horror – as aforementioned, I can’t deal with gore (even written gore!) and to be honest, I’m pretty easily creeped out. At the same time it isn’t really a genre I’ve actively avoided, it just so happens I don’t tend to gravitate towards the horror section of the bookshop much. I have kind of been thinking of reading some Stephen King though recently, so perhaps I’ll end up liking it (or I’ll just have nightmares)!


Although I like romance elements in books, I don’t want it to be the main event. I personally tend to find romance books a bit predictable (woman and man meet, fall in love, something comes between them, they make up, the end), and there’s a lot of scope for some seriously clichéd characters (eg. plain-looking but witty women and hot but messed-up men). I know I’m guilty of book-stereotyping here, but the genre just doesn’t interest me much.


The main problem I have with erotica is that I think sex scenes are just so hard to get right they can make me seriously cringe even in regular books (and the Literary Review even have a ‘Bad Sex Award’ which has featured some pretty eminent writers – even they couldn’t get it right!). So I really don’t think an entire genre based around them is for me!

So are there any genres you don’t read? Why not? And what are your favourite genres?

38 Responses to “What genres don’t you read?”

  1. Lory @ Emerald City Book Review

    I could have written this post! I would say the same, with the exception that I haven’t read the Millennium trilogy, and I have read (and recommend) Sherlock Holmes. I also avoided Georgette Heyer for years because she was a “romance novelist,” but adored her when I did read her. I have zero desire to give Stephen King a chance though.

    • Laura

      I really do need to read the Sherlock Holmes books soon then! And I would definitely recommend the Millennium trilogy, even if you don’t read crime. Part of my problem with crime fiction is it often being formulaic, but the Millennium trilogy is like nothing else I’ve ever read, and the characters are very unique!

  2. Kaja

    I mostly read fantasy and romance (I’m trying to change that by incorporating more classics into my reading list), but I never, ever read horror (nightmares) and I rarely read crime/thriller novels. They just don’t speak to me.
    I have my reservations about erotica – not so much because of the cringe-worthy sex scenes (and I agree, it’s really hard to find an author who writes convincing sex scenes) but because I feel like most of the story APART from the sex scenes is just there for decoration – and everyone just wants the characters to get to bed. I like my romance with an actual plot, good character portrayal and some meaning.

    • Laura

      Lack of plot/story is definitely another reason why erotica doesn’t appeal to me. For me the point of a book is the story, so if there isn’t one, then I’m not interested!
      One of the genres I read most of is fantasy too, although recently I have been reading quite a lot of sci-fi and historical fiction as well.

  3. Stevie Larwood

    I rarely read crime/horror and I think that is mainly down to me just avoiding anything that has anything that’ll make me paranoid in it. I suffer with awful anxiety and the strangest little things trigger me therefore I do try and steer clear. I must say though that quite recently I have been dealing with those issues and getting better with it all so I’m tempted to try some out. I think all of the genres you mentioned pretty much sum up the ones that I avoid. I am trying to get into more genres though because I was in such a YA bubble last year!

    • Laura

      I think that is definitely one of the problems with genres like crime and horror – they can easily trigger things like anxiety (and I think that’s part of why I’m so freaked out by things like gore). I’m glad you’re doing better with it though!
      And I definitely get into genre bubbles every now and then too, and for me it is mostly fantasy. If I read a really good fantasy series then I have to quickly find another to replace it! It’s good to try out other genres though for a bit of variety, and I have been trying to read a bit more widely recently.

  4. Sebastian

    I don’t read science-fiction, horror, romance, erotica, poetry. I like essays, non-fiction creative writing, short stories and some historical-novels.

    • Laura

      It sounds like you have a really interesting taste in reading! I’d love to start reading more non-fiction creative writing and short stories myself, as I tend to mostly stick with novels.

  5. Sarah H

    I really don’t care for romance either. Girl meet boy, boy meet girl and they fall in love. That’s pretty all there is to it. I don’t mind crime fiction, horror, erotica but they aren’t the type of book I tend to read. I’m a die hard fantasy and science fiction nerd, lol!

    • Laura

      I’m definitely a fellow fantasy and science fiction nerd! That’s what I read most of, with a bit of literary and historical fiction thrown in every now and then!

  6. Lola

    I love romance books and read some erotica, although I do want there to be some plot.
    Horror is a genre that I tend to stay away from, I don’t mind some mildy scary things, but the really scary stuff or gruesome scenes aren’t for me. Beside that I usually don’t read: angel/demon books, time travel, zombie or fairytale retellings. Although I will make exceptions when the book sounds really good.

    • Laura

      I’m not too bad with mildly scary things either, like ghosts (and I mean mildly scary things in books – a real life ghost would scare the hell out of me, obviously!), but gruesome stuff I just can’t deal with!
      I have read the odd fairytale retelling and enjoyed it and I really like retellings of myths and legends (for example Adele Geras does some great novel adaptations of Greek legends) , but I don’t tend to read anything to do with zombies or time travel. Not for any particular reason, I just haven’t found a book yet that features those things that I like the sound of!

      • Lola

        I have read a few mythology books which I enjoyed, like The Blackwell pages series by Armstrong and Marr. But I just tend to stay away from fairytale retellings, I plan on reading Cinder eventually as everyone seems to love that and maybe reading that will change my mind?
        I have read a few books with time travel and they can be done well, but I find the whole concept behind time travel a bit icky and my mind keep insisting it doesn’t make sense. So when a book glosses over the whole concept of tiem travel and how it works, I am more okay with it for some reason.

        • Laura

          I get what you mean with the time travel – the only book I can remember reading that heavily featured time travel was The Time Travellers Wife, and whilst it was a good book, the concept of a genetic disorder that makes you time travel seemed a little bit beyond belief for me, seen as the book was set in an otherwise ordinary world.
          And I have heard a lot about Cinder, so I might read that myself sometime!

  7. Jade @ Bits & Bobs

    I like to think I’m pretty well rounded and will give anything a go… But in all honesty, I don’t read a lot of romance or any erotica. Erotica is just not my thing, and romance, well, like you, I don’t mind reading romance in a book but if it is the main thing then I’m a little wary; sometimes I do like delving in to a predictable easy read romance though.

    Crime is my favourite genre to read, although I don’t read it all the time. I think that’s the key for me though, if I read one genre too much then I can go off it or anything feels very samey.

    • Laura

      I’m the same – I sometimes have phases where I read a lot of the same genre, but then after a while it all seems to blend into one giant story, and becomes a bit samey. I have been trying to branch out a bit lately, and try a few new genres though, but these four are ones I just don’t think I will ever get into.

  8. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    I’m not crazy about crime fiction, thrillers or the like. I’m also usually not drawn to literary fiction (though I almost feel bad for admitting it!). I do like romance, and I’m not a fan of outright erotica – I don’t mind some sex, as long as sex isn’t supposed to BE the plot. I do agree that certain sex scenes can be cringeworthy, though!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    • Laura

      Literary fiction isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and although I do enjoy reading it myself, it’s the kind of thing I can only read when the mood strikes, and I definitely prefer genres like fantasy. And I think that’s another problem I have with erotica too – there isn’t usually any plot or character development.

  9. Lina

    I definitely agree with the crime fiction! For me, it’s not so much the gore — I just don’t really like for my book to be entirely focused on a mystery. I think most books have some small sort of mystery in them, but crime fiction really focuses on it.

    I don’t go out of my way to avoid it necessarily, but Historical Fiction isn’t my favorite. I’ll read one every once in a while when one comes along that sparks my interest, but I feel like so much of historical fiction is set in the Victorian era and that’s just never really appealed to me. The book would have to have some other element to keep me interested.

    And….classics. What can I say, I think assigned reading has ruined them! There are a few that I want to get to, but only because they sound awesome (like Fahrenheit 451!).

    Lovely post, Laura!

    • Laura

      Part of my problem with crime fiction is definitely the focus on mystery too, because it often means things like character development suffer as a result. I think that’s why the Millennium trilogy is an exception for me, because the characters are so well written!
      I’m not too keen on historical fiction set in the Victorian era either, to be honest, but I do like anything set in Tudor times (I’m actually a bit of a Tudor history nerd!) or during the War of the Roses and I have read a few books set in medieval times and Ancient Rome that I have actually really enjoyed (although I’m sure they weren’t historically accurate!)

  10. Maddy

    I’m the exact same way. I think the problem with crime fiction is that it feels too much like a procedural crime TV show. I’m fine with mystery books, where the focus is on the characters and their reaction to the mystery, but crime fiction feels too investigation-centered. The same goes for horror. I love a good psychological thriller, but horror to me is about the jump scares and creepy atmosphere which I find hard to appreciate in books.

    • Laura

      The focus on investigation is one of the things I don’t like about crime fiction too. I find it kind of boring after a while, but I guess if you were interested in police procedure or forensics then maybe it wouldn’t be?
      And whilst I don’t like horror I do quite like thrillers too, although I haven’t really read all that many. I read Before I Go To Sleep a while back and that was really good!

  11. Rinn

    For me, I don’t read books where romance is the main element – it’s okay as part of the story but not the main focus. I don’t go for erotica either. The stuff I have read is just… not sexy at all.

    I’m a bit wary of paranormal fiction, particularly that involving vampires and werewolves because so much of it has felt so repetitive. I will read it, I just have to research it carefully first 😛

    I’m also not a huge contemporary fan. I don’t like books that are normally labelled as ‘chick lit’ – although I don’t really like that term. Anything about marriages, engagements, shopping – I just find them dull. I prefer the unrealistic stuff, haha 😉

    • Laura

      I’m the same – if there’s vampires or werewolves in it then I will probably avoid it, as in a lot of cases it’s basically Twilight all over again! And I’m not really into ‘chick lit’ books either, as they just hold no interest for me. I’m a fellow fan of the unrealistic!

  12. Emma

    Oh you have to give the horror genre a go!
    I started off reviewing horror years ago, now I’m an editor, publishing consultant & publisher-to-be.
    There are so many authors who do not delve into blood & gore. Alison Littlewood is a superb example of that. As is Adam Nevil.
    Even Graham Joyce (now passed on, sadly) had some superb works out that will bring a tear to your eye.
    Horror, for me, is not about blood, gore & hacking up innocent victims. Horror mirrors the challenges we face in life, the things that keep us awake at night…the ‘what if’ theme.
    I may be biased, but I’d start with any of the authors I’ve mentioned. Joe Hill’s Horns is an excellent starter, an emotive read that challenges our perception of right & wrong.

    • Laura

      I will definitely have to give some of these a try! The thought of blood and gore is largely what puts me off horror, so if there isn’t much of that then I may like these books. Didn’t they recently turn Horns into a film? I looked up what it is about and it sounds really intriguing, so I might start with that one. Thanks for the suggestions! 🙂

  13. Jee Ann

    Ooh, on this list the only one I don’t read is erotica ;p I’m not much of a fan of space opera sci-fi either. And I like creepy crime fiction :D. Speaking of creepy, it’s almost Halloween, Laura, how you holding up to the gore on TV? 😀

  14. Paloma @ Pages and Pineapples

    My list of genres I avoid is pretty much exactly the same as yours… especially horror! I DO NOT do well with explicit descriptions of gore.

    I’ve been getting a bit sick of the mass influx of dystopians lately (though I’m not sure if that counts as a genre?). And I tend to stay away from contemporary YA – it just doesn’t grab my interest.

    • Laura

      I really don’t get how anyone can stand gore, but each to their own!
      Dystopians have been done a lot recently, and I don’t mind some of them, but others I’ve read hasn’t been as good, and in a lot of cases have been rubbish copies of stuff that has already been done.

  15. Citra

    Looks like we have similar taste!

    Except for I read romance. Just recently, in fact because it is a genre that I never took seriously. Until I read this one book, The Art of Hearing Heartbeats (Jan-Phillip Sendker).

    I choose book blindly, never knew it was a romance in disguise. It is one of the best book I have read in my life.

    If you care to try romance, steer clear from YA.

    I don’t carr about crime either since the TV channels are infested with crime TV series. I am kind of tired of them.

    Lovely post, Laura!

    • Laura

      That’s what I think is a shame – there’s probably a few books in the genres I don’t read that i would probably love, so it’s a shame to miss out on those, like you might have done with The Art of Hearing Heartbeats had you not mistaken it for another genre.
      I’m glad you liked this post! 🙂

  16. Dannie @ Reading A Page Turner

    I’m not a fan of Romance or Erotica. Like others that have posted, romance is great if it is part of a larger story, just not the only thing.

    There are very few books that I have liked within Horror; I have found that most of the books in this genre that I’ve read are just poorly written.

    I don’t tend to read Sci-Fi, Fantasy, or Dystopian. I have found a few books within these genres that I enjoy, I just don’t find the urge to want to read them.

    I am a huge Mystery/Thriller/Suspense reader. These are the books I find myself reading within a day. There are a few series that kind of cross a variety of genres that I want to read – Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige and The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer.

    • Laura

      Yeah, I prefer romance as part of a larger story, and I can imagine there’s a lot of badly written horror out there, just as there’s a lot of really bad horror movies out there! I can see it being a genre that’s hard to get right.
      I have recently just gotten more into thrillers and suspense books, but it still isn’t my main genre, but I’m glad you’ve found a genre you love! And I definitely like those cross-genre books too 🙂

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