Saturday, March 23, 2013

Caffeinated Confessions #3: Are You Loyal to Only One Genre? Ever Get Burned Out?



Welcome to Caffeinated Confessions

I wanted a forum where we could talk about bookish subjects from swoon-worthy covers to the price of eBooks. I hope to share my thoughts on a different subject each month. So that we can all chat and share opinions. In the process I hope we get to know each other a little better. I made a pot of vanilla hazelnut coffee and have some lovely peppermint tea so grab a cup and let's chat:

Are you loyal to only one Genre? Ever Get Burned Out?

If you follow my blog reviews chances are you have already determined I read books from all genres. Last year I read two hundred and fifty books and am a self-confessed series addict. After reading my last confession you have a wonderful visual of how I read but did you know I have other quirks as well? *Gasps* I cannot read the same genre or series back to back. *nods head* Through trial and error I have found I need to cleanse my book palate like a wine taster. *sips some red wine* Ah. I find that if I read too much of one genre I get burned out. Does this happen to you? To avoid burn-out I like to go from a dark dystopian to a sensual historical fiction and then jump right into a paranormal book.

I hear a lot of readers complain about reading blocks and know from experience this can happen to me if I overdose on a genre. Prior to the "binge years" I read books straight from the New York Times Bestseller list and then I went on a historical romance binge. I consumed books and authors like they were nectar from the Gods. *it was crazy dude, i was a HF romance junkie* I would find an author and read all of her books in a matter of weeks. I am talking weekly trips to the library hauling home twenty books at a time! This binge went on for close to five years and I would only mix in another genre by happenstance. (Harry Potter, kids school books, classics, King, Roberts, friend nagging the hell out of me) Then came the crash, I lost interest in all books and  had a dry spell.*gasps* I found myself depressed and had no idea why I was in such a reading funk. Looking back I can see my bender had ended and I just needed to regroup. I did not touch a historical romance novel again for almost five years! It was like bad fish. *I'm not eating it, you eat it* Since changing my habits I started reading them again last year. I read one or two a month and delight in the fact that I enjoy this genre once again. During my "recovery" I discovered paranormal woo-woo and urban fantasy and I almost began another terrifying binge! Thankfully by book four in one particular urban fantasy series, I realized I was no longer enjoying it but rather rushing to see what happened next so once again I decided to regroup. 

I change things up now by mixing the genres I read each month and readily try new and old genres. Up until recently *like the last 6 months recently*  I loathed contemporary. *like it was the plague, man!* In my twenties I read a few of the top contemporaries at the time, and they all dealt with rich spoiled woman, male chauvinistic pigs, drugs and cheaters. Keep in mind it was the eighties when high hair, cocaine and crap was all the craze. *Blech!* So you couldn't get me to even try one again. *seriously, no way am I trying that* Thanks to reviews and some downright harrassment by a few blogger peeps *nag,nag,nag* I slowly starting picking up standalone contemporaries and have found I love new adult and adult in this genre. * Nods head, wide eyed* and says, "I know I still cannot believe it!" I haven’t had much success with young adult contemporaries or at least I haven’t found an author whose tales I completely connect with. However I loved Hopeless *new adult* and recently won Slammed *young-adult* by the same author, so we may yet have a winner. I am open to the possibilities. *winks*  Have I gotten completely off course with the topic?!? *shrugs* As I was saying I find that mixing the genres I read and never reading a series back to back have made my reading experience more enjoyable. With series I am behind in I try to allow 3-4 weeks before reading the next book. I have avoid the dreaded reading slump and get to experience an array of emotions from terror to heartwarming smooches each week! Surprisingly there have been some pleasant side effects; it has increased the quantity of books I read *happy dance* and introduced me to some seriously good books!  I still have occasional binges *I am an addict, people, it happens* and had one last year when I discovered there was more to young adult than Harry Potter and Twilight and indulged myself for a few months playing catch up..LOL

Do you read only one genre? If so, how the heck do you keep it fresh? Do you like to mix things up? Can you read a series or trilogy back to back without incident? Is there a genre that you run from like the plague? Have you experienced that rush sensation when you do read them back to back? If you only read one genre how do you keep it fresh? ~confessions of a book addict

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31 Comments:

At July 17, 2013 at 9:35 PM , Anonymous Katherine Nabity said...

I'll give any genre a try (and a second try and a third try...), but really I don't stray too far from my reading roots: Doyle and Poe. Oh, some science fiction and fantasy will get mixed in there on occasion, but really it all returns to mysteries and horror. These are genres I write in as well (kinda-sorta). I do tend to stay away from a few things. My mom and I went through a big vampire stage back in the 80s-90s when Anne Rice was the horror queen, and I got burned out pretty badly on vamp stories. I don't get zombies (unless they're Haitian zombies or zombie ants) and I have little love for dystopias. Which means my reading lately has been mostly mysteries. About every three years I'll go on a Sherlock Holmes binge, rereading canon as well as works by other authors. Last time, I burnt out; this time, I was distracted by my NetGalley queue and am still itching for more. I don't do well with series. Three books, entirely, is about my limit without someone pushing me to read. (If not for my husband I wouldn't have gotten through as much of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time as I did.) If I mix anything in, it's nonfiction.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:58 PM , Anonymous Bea @ Bea's Book Nook said...

I do mix up my genres, though lately I've been on a cozy mystery binge. Generally I read whatever catches my interest - history, general fiction, urban fantasy, romance, mysteries, non-fiction, etc. I do binge on an author or series from time to time. When I feel myself getting bored or losing interest in a genre, I switch to something else for a while. The New Adult genre doesn't hold much interest for me but neither does most YA and historical romance I have to be in the mood for and it has to have something else to hook me, such as a mystery.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:59 PM , Anonymous karina said...

Eh no, like you I don't read series back to back or even books in the same genre in a row. I mix them. First of all, being an eclectic reader was a necessity when I had to read what I could get, then it just became a norm. I don't see why I should limit myself to only one genre. Like you Kimba, I review lots of crazy different books, and there are only few genres I have no interest in. Non-fiction is one of them. So thankfully, I haven't had a reading block in... ever? If I feel a bit down, an occasional good historical romance does the trick. It's like my comfy cushion ;)))
Loved this topic!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 10:07 PM , Anonymous Barbara Walker said...

I sort of binge, sort of mix it up? Like I'll go on a contemp kick, but I'll mix it up and read adult, NA and YA, angsty, comedic and smexy. To me, that's mixing it up, at least. I'm a little burned out on dystopian, it all seems relentlessly the same and I can't say I ever was a giant fan of it in the first place. I actually want to read and review more things, I just have a difficult finding exactly what I want. Not much in other genres is appealing to me, so I've just dabbled in it rather than read a lot of it. When I go on a historical binge (I'd love to read more new stuff), I re-read my Lisa Kleypas and Loretta Chase stuff because I just don't like much of the new stuff enough to review it. I think right now I'm just going book by book and picking what appeals to me regardless of genre, but most of it seems to be contemporary or fantasy.

I love having an entire series in front of me to read all at once. I don't know if I rush through it, but I feel better being able to just take in the whole experience of it, knowing that I'll get to know how it ends without waiting months or years. I did that with KMM's Fever series - went through the whole thing at once over a long weekend after Shadowfever came out and I loved it. Reading series' bit by bit lately has been difficult with the number of books I read, since I tend to forget what I read in the first book.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 10:12 PM , Anonymous Aurian said...

Great post Kim, I do switch genres fairly often, to avoid burn out on a genre. Even though I would sometimes like to read books from the same series back to back, I can only do that after I have written a review of the first one. Or I would start combining two books in my reviews, and I don't want to do that. I can read quite a few paranormals before I switch over to historical romance or cozy mystery, or perhaps some romantic suspense or a Nora Roberts book. The only time I can totally binge on a series, is when I reread one. Every now and then I have this need to reread a great series, and then that is all I read for a few days or weeks.
Still, everything paranormal is my main love.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 10:29 PM , Anonymous Melissa said...

I'm a bouncer. lol. I read fantasy and UF and throw in some romance in there too. I even enjoy Steampunk and scifi. So when I feel the need for something different, it's here and waiting. :) I think that's the best part for me, I don't feel like I hit a slump where everyone's writing the same stuff all the time. :) Great question!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 10:54 PM , Anonymous Trish Hannon said...

Great topic, I like to mix it up too. My book motto is Anything Goes! It keeps everything interesting and fresh. After all you wouldn't want to eat the same food type for the rest of your life! Or only watch 1 kind of TV show. Mixing it up is fun :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 10:55 PM , Anonymous Angelas Anxious Life said...

Lately I only read YA.... I don't want to but it's like they are all trilogies so I have to finish the series of course. And then I moderate a YA Book Club so I have to read the book club picks every month. I get sooo behind on the horror I love and just adult books period!!!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 10:55 PM , Anonymous Angelas Anxious Life said...

I typically love Fantasy in YA. I end up reading a huge variety though because I read what the book club votes on. This month we are reading Genesis by Bernard Beckett and then next month Unearthly by Cynthia Hand. So I read all over the place. Adult books I really love horror novels.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

It's never to late to join the party..i am laughing at your Arcane Society remarks and discovering paranormal..have you read my About Me page..we have a lot in common cookie! I enjoy romantic suspense too. I just recently started multiple books, one on e-reader, a physical book and now one on my smartphone. I am not a re-reader, i tend to re-read passages.of my favorites. Blogging does change us! Happy Reading Lark :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard said...

We do indeed -- it's why I got in touch with you in the first place, my friend! And yes, blogging changes us: stretches us, challenges us, and brings a lot of fun into our lives. ;-)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard said...

Sorry I'm late to the party! I read more than one genre (fantasy, mystery, and historical romance are my biggies, with a smattering of science fiction, general or literary fiction, and contemporary romance, plus a few nonfiction books in a wide range of topics.) Before I started blogging, I used to go on binges, where I would read almost nothing but fantasy (or mystery, or whatever) for anything from a month to six or seven months -- rarely longer than that. Then I would switch genres. I also did a lot of re-reading of old favorites.

Starting my blog coincided with a desire to stretch my reading comfort zone a little -- find some new genres and new authors. For instance, I discovered paranormal romance (or in her case, romantic suspense) when I finally gave in and read one of Jayne Ann Krentz's books -- one of the Arcane Society series -- and loved it. (I don't think they're great literature, but boy, are they fun!) Since starting the blog, I've been mixing up my genres more, and also listening to more audiobooks, and keeping more than one book going at a time -- all things I wouldn't have done before.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:35 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

ooh i envy you that ability..but like you I love the paranormal genre, have you read the Penton Legacy series? those are good romances

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:35 PM , Anonymous Jennifer Bielman said...

No, I haven't read that series. I will look into it for sure.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:36 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Yeah didn't you burn out on dystopian recently? When you read a whole series back-to-back do you find you rush at all or are you able to handle it? and yeah you my friend are a binge reader

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:36 PM , Anonymous Jennifer Bielman said...

I have loved paranormal type books from the beginning and really don't get tired from it because it encompasses so many sub-genres it keeps things fresh. However, I have recently noticed I don't like Paranormal Romance as much as I once did. Or, really, I haven't read a really good one in a long time. But I think I will always be able to read paranormal books. It's been 4 years and I haven't tired of it yet.


And I love reading a series back to back. I hate waiting for a next book to come out.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:36 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I love all the genres you mentioned. thanks Melissa

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:36 PM , Anonymous Candace's Book Blog said...

I'm with you. I have to read different genre's and never read a series back to back. Though recently I read two books only a week apart, but I had to since I had a review due, and it worked fine with the books in between. I don't read a lot of adult books and haven't really got into the NA contemp as much (yet) but with all the YA and MG I read I definitely switch it up. And when I read an adult book I tend to love it because I'm usually desperate for some more adult behavior (no, I'm not talking dirty!). But yeah, other than horror (for the most part) I will read just about anything and I definitely spread them out!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:36 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

ha..i knew what you meant about adult behavior, NA is adult but moves at a faster pace like YA

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:36 PM , Anonymous Diana Leigh said...

I need to mix it up, or I'd go nuts! Up until two years ago, I would only read romances. Oddly enough, I picked up a cozy mystery by chance, and that genre became my "gateway" to others.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:36 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

hehehe..genres the gateway drug!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:36 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

ooh Sign of Seven creepy one!!!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:36 PM , Anonymous Jennifer said...

I like creepy! Also, this is your 100th comment on this post. :D

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:37 PM , Anonymous Jessica-Literary, etc said...

I have a preference for historical romance (especially Regencies and Victorians), but I also like mysteries and thrillers. If you take a look at my blog, I'm just sort of all over the place with a little mixture of everything. One thing I am finding is that I'm really enjoying the YA genre.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:37 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

sounds like you mix things up like me and avoid burn out :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:37 PM , Anonymous Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf said...

I definitely need to read all sorts of genres because I will get burned out too. I've done it to myself quite often by breezing through a series or two in the same genre and by the end...there just isn't the same impact. Great topic.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:37 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

yeah it kind of takes the fun out of it, and thanks Melissa!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:37 PM , Anonymous Lauren said...

By the way, I really love that you read and review all genres of books, it's one of the things that I love about coming to your blog! I discover so many new books that I otherwise wouldn't have seen thanks to you. :-)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:37 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

aww, thanks I am glad I try to keep ya all guessing and finding new books and authors is so much fun!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:37 PM , Anonymous Lauren said...

I am exactly like you, I need a palate cleanser between books, and it really helps for me to switch up genres. I do differ from you on series though, I can plow right through a series in a matter of days, but I will probably need to change it up right afterward or I'll get burned out. "In my twenties I read a few of the top contemporaries at the time, and they all dealt with rich spoiled woman, male chauvinistic pigs, drugs and cheaters. Keep in mind it was the eighties when high hair, cocaine and crap was all the craze." <----that made me laugh out loud, seriously. :-) Amazing discussion!!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:37 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

totally true story, cheaters, and swingers never appealed to me..and the first two I tried had just that.

 

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