What Genres Do You Read?

We’ve had a lot of talk about genres lately, and I’ve tried to discuss which genres you’re writing as well as which genres seem to be selling best. But recently a blog reader mentioned it would be interesting to see which genres you’re READING, not just writing.

This is actually a good point, because while I always assume people are reading widely in the genre they’re writing, I’m repeatedly surprised when writers tell me they’re not. I’ll talk to someone who writes thrillers and ask them who their favorite thriller writers are, and they’ll say, “Well, to tell you the truth, I don’t read many.” Aarrgghh!!! How can you expect to learn your genre if you’re not studying it by reading it?

So I have three questions for you:

1. What is your preferred genre to read?
2. Are you reading widely in the genre(s) that you write?
3. If you’re not, what’s your rationalization?

Feel free to name some of your favorite authors in your genre, as well. Thanks, and have a good weekend!

© 2011 Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent

Rachelle Gardner

Literary agent at Gardner Literary. Coffee & wine enthusiast (not at the same time) and dark chocolate connoisseur. I've worked in publishing since 1995 and I love talking about books!


  1. Kira Budge on March 16, 2013 at 9:15 PM

    I read YA fantasy and sci-fi the most, but I read so much more. Almost all YA or MG, since I don’t enjoy most adult literature. Since those are my genres, I get a lot out of it.

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  6. catherinemjohnson on May 17, 2011 at 5:51 PM

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  7. Jaime Wright on May 11, 2011 at 8:35 AM

    >I primarily read historical/historical romance. I love it dearly, but also like to stay up on what's in the genre that I also write in. My faves? Tracie Peterson, hands down. I also love Colleen Coble (anything Colleen – even if it's not historical. She's amazing). Jody Hedlund is my favorite new author. And Laurie Alice Eakes and I share the love of a big splash of suspense mixed with historicals, so she's pretty amazing too (especially her latest).

  8. Haleyknitz on May 10, 2011 at 6:48 PM

    >I read crime thrillers, adult romance, and young adult. I write young adult with bits and pieces of crime/adventure in them and romances. I figure if I continue to read the things that are being published, i'll know what sells.

  9. Valerie Comer on May 10, 2011 at 2:37 PM

    >I write contemporary romance, and about half of what I read is the same genre. I also read historical romance and speculative fiction, with a smattering of 'other.' I read, on average, a bit over a book a week.

  10. Rachel Rossano on May 10, 2011 at 12:58 PM

    >I read a great deal of clean romance (mostly Regency or historical), YA, and sci-fi/fantasy (with some research books for writing purposes and parenting purposes). My current favorites in Regency romance fiction are Donna Hatch and Sarah M. Eden. In YA, my favorite is Diana Wynne Jones, however, I have enjoyed J. K. Rowling, Rick Riordan, Meg Cabot, and other mainstream YA recently. My sci-fi/fantasy reading has not been as current. My main favorite in the category is Orson Scott Card. His most recent tomes are sitting on my bedside table waiting consumption. Lately I have been picking up New York Times Bestsellers in an attempt to expand my exposure to popular fiction and hopefully absorb an understanding of what makes them so popular.

    I write clean romance in sci-fiction, fantasy, or historical settings. So, the answer is yes, I am reading in the genres I write, though I wouldn't say I have been reading widely.

    I write what I enjoy reading, which is a genre unto itself. Each time I have set out to write a genre book, it has changed into something that doesn't quite fit into any one genre. Apparently I defy restraint and color the worlds outside the limits of single genres. Regardless I continue to try. I have a contemporary romance and a Regency romance in the works. We shall see if they turn out as I plan.

  11. David A. Todd on May 10, 2011 at 7:46 AM

    >”What is your preferred genre to read?”I prefer the sagas, such as written by Michener and Wouk. Second to that I like letters as literature; actually letters and journals may be first ahead of sagas.”Are you reading widely in the genre(s) that you write?”Since my writing is spread across several genres, the answer is yes and no. For the Bible/small group studies I write, I’d say yes, I am widely read in them, a user of them as I teach adult Sunday school class. But for my novels, not so much.”If you’re not, what’s your rationalization?”It’s that I have a story (or stories) inside that have to get out. It’s that I write the type of books I like to read, not the genre I necessarily like, but the worldview that underpins the writing. For my baseball thriller-in-progress, I find that sports books in general do not come from a Christian worldview, and I don’t like what’s in the marketplace. So I’m writing mine from a very subtle Christian worldview.

  12. Matt Phillips on May 9, 2011 at 2:30 PM

    >After reading historical fiction for upwards of 20 years, I finally decided to try my hand at a historical novel a few years ago. It's set during the American Revolution. My favorite HF authors are Sharon Kay Penman and Bernard Cornwell.

  13. Lydia Sharp on May 9, 2011 at 8:38 AM

    >My favorite is young adult fiction. Within that category, I focus on contemporary (including romance, "issue books", and mystery/thriller/suspense), historical fiction, sci-fi and fantasy. I also read adult fiction (sci-fi, fantasy, historical fiction and women's fiction) and short story anthologies (sci-fi and fantasy). But the bulk of my reading is in the YA category. Not surprisingly, so is the bulk of my writing. 😉

  14. Sandra Ardoin on May 9, 2011 at 7:26 AM

    >My favorite reads are suspense, military thrillers, and historical romance. My novels are historical romantic suspense.

  15. Eileen Astels Watson on May 8, 2011 at 1:09 PM

    >My favorite genre is Contemporary Romance. I always have a Romance novel on the go, whether it be historical or contemporary. I much preferred the shorter ones (50-60k length) in the past, as I was finding in the full-lengths I would tend to skip over the subplot sections as that always came across as filler to me.

    But I've discovered lately that in the ABA market especially, but also in some of the CBA, I'm enjoying reading every single page in the full length romances now. Not too many do I do that old familiar skipping of sections anymore, which makes me much happier. Authors are doing a much better job of weaving the sub plots in more seemlessly or I'm just picking much better reads lately.

    I also read some women's lit and young adult as well. And of course all those 'on writing' non-fiction books.

    Some of my current favorite authors who I've read more than one story from are Emily March (ABA), Cheryl Wyatt, Carolyne Aarson, and Erica Vetch to name a few. Lots of promising new authors as of late, too, looking forward to reading their second novels to see if they maintain the magic that their first novels revealed.

    When I think of all these authors I really question how people think the publishing world is dying. Every month there seems to be several new authors out there to read and most don't dissapoint!

  16. Anonymous on May 8, 2011 at 10:15 AM

    >I read romance or chick lit, although finding Christian chick lit these days isn't as easy as it was, say, five years ago.

    I read romance, chick lit, women's fiction.

    Hmm, favorite authors. Can't think of any off hand. I often get my recommendations from writer websites.

  17. mulligangirl on May 7, 2011 at 11:51 PM

    >1.Contemporary romance, Paranormal romance, and YA paranormal romance.

    2. Absolutely! I write it because I love to read it. It's so much fun and the authors are a lot of fun too. 😉

  18. roseanneschmidt on May 7, 2011 at 8:02 PM

    >I Mostly read YA Fiction, but lately I've dabbled into NF. I plan on writing across the board in many genres geared for all ages, starting with YA, of course.

  19. Carol J. Garvin on May 7, 2011 at 6:09 PM

    >I read in a variety of genres, but prefer suspense and romantic suspense, which is what I'm currently writing. Any other genres are usually chosen because they are by authors I particularly like. I've recently read Linda Hall, Jane Kirkpatrick, Jody Hedlund, James Scott Bell, Barbara Delinski and Jodi Picoult.

  20. Joe McGaha on May 7, 2011 at 5:26 PM

    >I've been reading a lot of Jack Kerouac lately. I know, most people read him in college (or even high school) — what can I say? I'm a late bloomer.

  21. girlseeksplace on May 7, 2011 at 10:31 AM

    >I read all genres except for romance and chick lit. I don't write either of those things, so I don't read them. I am an equal genre reader, though. I am willing to try anything once. Certainly, I have my favorites, but I like trying new things and have discovered some great literature when picking up something I might not typically have considered.

  22. Jennifer Fromke on May 7, 2011 at 10:28 AM

    >I'm writing women's fiction and my favorite author of late in that genre is Kristin Hannah. I discovered her while looking for a similar theme to my WIP and that discovery blew me away!

    I must admit I love the historical novel (not romances, though) but feel the task of writing one too daunting for my beginner status.

    So I read in my genre and in the genre I might someday feel worthy to try.

  23. Stacy on May 7, 2011 at 9:45 AM

    >I'm writing a suspense thriller, and that's my favorite genre as well. I try to read at least one book a week, but I'm pickier than I should be. Sometimes I struggle to both write and read because my free time is so limited.

  24. Darin Calhoun on May 7, 2011 at 8:57 AM

    >1. I generally read the top ten best sellers to see what makes them tick. Although, sometimes I'll just pick something up for fun, or a quirky whim.

    2. Since I'm dabbling in Romance, I'm currently reading #1 New York Times best selling romance novels, to get a feel for the genre: the tropes, structure, and language of the genre. (I'm reading J.R. Ward's Black Dagger series right now.)

    3. If I'm not reading in the genre I'm writing in, it's due to many reasons: my varying tastes in books, research of story ideas that require me to read a non-fiction book, reading another author's latest release whom I know.

    My usual routine is to writing in the morning and read at night. Aside from the appreciation of another writer's use of language, I find that reading often inspires me to want to be a better writer. That reading others' work primes the creative pump that I can draw inspiration from the next day.

  25. Ane Mulligan on May 7, 2011 at 7:56 AM

    >I read at least 3 books a week, both CAB and ABA women's fiction mostly, which is the genre I write, but I also read some inspirational romance, romantic comedy, and some historical.

  26. Taz on May 7, 2011 at 7:33 AM

    >Hola bebe,
    My preferred genre is romantic mystery (historical, humour, I don't mind) and romantic action/adventure. Mostly I do read in the genre I write, but I will reach for something different rather than a widely known author because I feel they tend to write books a little bit TOO much the same.

    Which leads to Q.3, where sometimes I get too bored with the genre I like and like to write, and reach for something totally different. I find this helps break monotony and cliches when I'm writing in my romantic fiction genre and allows for something more intriguing and surprising without being left-field.
    2 fav authors are Siri Mitchell & Linda Chaikin. They're worlds apart but I love them for different reasons. Thoroughly enjoyed my last read, which was by Tom Morrisey. His ending was sooo not expected, and I loved that.

    I can't stand passe storylines and cringe at what's out there sometimes. However those published dodgy novels give me hope as well 🙂

    Thanks for asking 🙂

  27. catherinemjohnson on May 7, 2011 at 6:58 AM

    >Good point, I'm nervously waiting to hear back from someone reading my 186 stanza 'MG' to make sure it is MG. I'd hate to cut it right back for a PB at this stage. I've read a broad range of MG books recently but I mostly read picture books with the odd historical romance/gothic novel thrown in (Favourites: Kate Morton, Patricia Wastvedt and Jody Hedlund)
    PBs: Too many favourites to mention

  28. catherinemjohnson on May 7, 2011 at 6:58 AM

    >Good point, I'm nervously waiting to hear back from someone reading my 186 stanza 'MG' to make sure it is MG. I'd hate to cut it right back for a PB at this stage. I've read a broad range of MG books recently but I mostly read picture books with the odd historical romance/gothic novel thrown in (Favourites: Kate Morton, Patricia Wastvedt and Jody Hedlund)
    PBs: Too many favourites to mention

  29. catherinemjohnson on May 7, 2011 at 6:58 AM

    >Good point, I'm nervously waiting to hear back from someone reading my 186 stanza 'MG' to make sure it is MG. I'd hate to cut it right back for a PB at this stage. I've read a broad range of MG books recently but I mostly read picture books with the odd historical romance/gothic novel thrown in (Favourites: Kate Morton, Patricia Wastvedt and Jody Hedlund)
    PBs: Too many favourites to mention

  30. Roslyn Rice on May 7, 2011 at 6:47 AM

    >I write non fiction and enjoy reading non fiction. I wish I had more time to read fiction but as a full time working mother of two, it is nearly impossible in this season of my life. Happy Mothers Day to all the writing mothers 🙂

  31. Leigh D on May 7, 2011 at 4:24 AM

    >As a romance writer, I wondered what romance readers most loved to read so I put a poll on my blog. Fantasy/Paranormal took the lead early on and maintained it throughout, as did 'Spicy' in the heat ratings.

    I found this interesting because on your recent blog most people were writing Fantasy/Parnormal but your research suggested publishers weren't publishing so much in this genre.

    So it seems readers want to read fantasy and writers are writing fantasy but publishing figures don't mirror this. I know these types of polls can't be definitive but it's still interesting, huh?

  32. Claude Nougat on May 7, 2011 at 3:29 AM

    >I don't read in any given genre, I'm afraid I'm like a butterfly (mmm, a little heavy…) and flit about!
    Because I get rapidly bored with a genre book. The more I read in a given genre. the more I become aware of the recipes at work. There really are only a limited numbers of plots, and soon you begin to outguess the author. That's when I switch genres!

    I'm well aware – as I know you are! – that genres are a basic marketing tool for the publishing industry but I'm not sure people read exclusively in a given a genre – at least not as much as the publishing industry would like to believe. Probably only about one third of readers are addicted to a given genre and won't read anything else – perhaps even less than a third, I don't know. I started a poll on my blog to try and figure this one out, and so far that's what it shows but it could be wrong: too few people have voted yet. So, if you have a minute please go to my blog (name: Claude Nougat: you can click my name) and vote (it's on the upper right corner)

  33. imvubu2003 on May 7, 2011 at 3:07 AM

    >I'm a sci-fi fan, preferring the science part to be as close to real as possible, or in the realms of possibility in the future. My fave authors are writers like Asimov, Ben Bova, Arthur C. Clarke, Frank Herbert, etc. I also enjoy other books … non-fiction memoirs, science, or travel; adventure such as written by Clive Cussler; golden oldies C.S Lewis, Jane Austen, etc. I love the LOTR series, David Eddings.

    Anyway, I do write stories in various genres, since I'm a student, so still finding my legs. I have just written my first sci-fi short story, and am thinking of turning it into novel length.

  34. Melissa on May 7, 2011 at 12:00 AM

    >I love Paranormal Romance. I read many authors who write in the genre and only after a long period did I finally attempt to write in it as well.

    I love so many authors and their unique styles. A few of my favorites are Heather Graham, who seems to write a little of everything in Romance, Jeaniene Frost, Keri Arthur, Jennifer Lyon, Lynsay Sands, Charlaine Harris, etc.

    There are just too many to list that are wonderful and inspire me to create my own world!

  35. Alicia on May 6, 2011 at 11:41 PM

    >I read YA and I read a wide variety of YA. I really like Fantasy, but at the same time, love a good romance. My latest favorite author is Kody Keplinger. The Duff was just awesome and I so want to write like her.

  36. sally apokedak on May 6, 2011 at 10:29 PM

    >I'm reading YA, with a particular love for YA fantasy. Some of my favorite authors are Jonathan Rogers, NT Wilson, RJ Anderson, and Shannon Hale.

  37. Maril Hazlett on May 6, 2011 at 10:02 PM

    >One on hand, what a great question to ask this group – on the other hand, argh, now I'm going to be adding even more books to my To Read list.

    I read way eclectically. I like genre fiction. I picked up tastes for military/ adventure novels from my husband and dad, westerns from my dad and my brothers, romances and mysteries from my mom. I don't write any of that, but I think those influences are probably all present in my approach to paranormal and fantasy. If I look at the bookshelf behind me, it's full of Terry Pratchett, Clive Cussler et al, Georgette Heyer, Patricia Briggs, Tamora Pierce, Lisa Shearin, etc.

    For nonfiction, I'm addicted to reading the letters of historical figures. My favorite so far are the letters of Jessica Mitford.

  38. Marleen Gagnon on May 6, 2011 at 9:59 PM

    >I read Historical Romance (Regency is okay, but I like historical western romance), some Christian romance, mysteries and contemporary romance. I also read historical non-fiction for research. I write, of course, historical romance.

  39. terri de on May 6, 2011 at 9:48 PM

    >Once a week, I fill a green grocery bag full of picture books from the library to read and consume. I'm a children's author. I also read Christian romance for enjoyment and a mystery thrown in for good measure. On my bedside table is always a Max Lucado book beside my Bible.

  40. Keiki Hendrix on May 6, 2011 at 9:42 PM

    >What is your preferred genre to read?
    Love Suspense and Thrillers like Dekker, Peretti, etc…

    2. Are you reading widely in the genre(s) that you write?
    Yes, what I write is non-fiction, so I read much from that genre as well.

  41. Chris on May 6, 2011 at 9:13 PM

    >I read literary fiction, women's literature, historical fiction, crime/mystery and biographies. When I am writing, I read authors whose strength is my weakness or novels that are similar in theme to what I am writing.

  42. Melissa Tagg on May 6, 2011 at 9:06 PM

    >I looove contemporary romance with a huge helping of humor and a side of mystery or suspense – which is what I write. Top of my "favorites" list, by far, is Susan May Warren. Her latest Deep Haven book…perfect! And the PJ Sugar series…love 'em. Also, Jennie B Jones – queen of comedy! Loving Siri Mitchell and Deeanne Gist, too…and yeah, they write historical, which I don't currently write but someday would love to try…

  43. Nancy Thompson on May 6, 2011 at 8:15 PM

    >Though I occasionally skip around, I stick mostly with thrillers which I also write. While I love legal thrillers (Connelly, Bell) I'm not a lawyer so I could never write one. But thrillers that deal with the average guy dealing with extraordinary challenges & conflict appeal to me the most. Greg Iles is one the best writers in this genre & my all time favorite. My own work falls within this genre of thriller.

  44. Terri Tiffany on May 6, 2011 at 6:44 PM

    >I read women's fiction–Jodi Picoult is my favorite.

  45. Kathy Holmes on May 6, 2011 at 6:26 PM

    >I read everything Laura Caldwell writes – I love her personal voice paired with a good suspense/thriller. The same holds true for Marcia Muller, who writes mysteries. Both of them have a voice that I love. And I like to think mine is similar – that maybe I'm in-between the two. I'm reading other mystery/suspense/thriller authors but these 2 are my favorites.

  46. Patricia Stoltey on May 6, 2011 at 5:29 PM

    >My favorite genre is mystery/thriller/suspense, and yes, that's where I do most of my writing. I love a wide range of authors (Lee Child, Margaret Coel, Craig Johnson, William Kent Krueger, etc.) But I read almost everything else from women's fiction to horror. I'm currently enjoying Stephen King's Under the Dome (but wish I'd bought it after I got my Kindle — that thing is heavy).

  47. Lori on May 6, 2011 at 5:25 PM

    >For me I read a wide variety within a limited genres. I have a series of YA fantasies I've written and of course read a lot of YA, JK Rowling, JRR Tolkien, RIck Roardian, just to name a few. But I also write and LOVE David Baldacci, Michael Connelly, Patricia Cornwell, my adult novels are more mainstream, I have one political thriller and one suspense.

  48. Liesl on May 6, 2011 at 5:24 PM

    >I read lots of books in my particular genre, MG and YA fantasy, but I am a big believer in reading great literature in many, many genres. I read what I feel are the best books across the board, from political and social science, to sci-fi, to adult literary. Every good book informs my writing.

  49. Meg on May 6, 2011 at 4:23 PM

    >I write YA fantasy/paranormal, which pretty much makes up the bulk of my reading material along with just regular fantasy and humorous fantasy.

    I do try to spread out though and read other genres. Basically I'm game for anything with a strong plot and interesting characters!

  50. Hannah Hounshell on May 6, 2011 at 4:14 PM

    >1. Urban fantasy and high fantasy, with a little sci-fi reading for a change of pace 🙂

    2. Yes. I like to browse through the shelves at the library and take home new books whenever possible. You never know when you'll come across a new favorite book 😀

    3. Not applicable 😉

  51. Larry Carney on May 6, 2011 at 4:08 PM

    >1. Literary fiction. While I love to read just about anything, there is a difference between reading and getting pleasure, and reading and being….moved by something. Now if only said stories could be occasionally a little less depressing….

    2. Yes and no. There always seems to be more to read, which makes me wonder why people always say that the industry is in trouble 🙂

    3. For the "no" part, it is also hard to sometimes find something that is (if you will excuse a bad pun) novel. I don't expect say, Shakespeare from every science fiction novel, but I do hope that in the future worlds where they are set that writers have found a way to say something as creative as the robots and spaceships which populate the books pages.

  52. Emily on May 6, 2011 at 4:05 PM

    >Maybe it's because I want to be a publisher more than a writer, but I tend to read a pretty wide variety. I look for books that tell a message about God through an exceptionally written story that sticks with the reader. These are the books I want to publish; these are the books I want to write. This ends up meaning that anything and everything can make its way onto my shelves: Romance (Francine Rivers, Julie Lessman), Thrillers (Ted Dekker), Supernatural (Frank Peretti), Historical. I just discovered The Reluctant Prophet by Nancy Rue, which blew my mind.

    This wide reading might also be the reason I can't nail down a genre to write in. Oops. 🙂

  53. Anonymous on May 6, 2011 at 3:23 PM

    >I read Science-Fiction and techno-thrillers mostly. Authors like David Brin, Alan Dean Foster, Douglass Preston and Lincoln Child, to name a few. In the past year or so I have also started reading historical thrillers/mysteries by Robert McCammon which I have enjoyed as well.

  54. Graceful on May 6, 2011 at 3:17 PM

    >My genre is memoir, and yes, I love reading memoir. Some of my favs: Katrina Kenison (Gift of an Ordinary Day), Martha Beck (Expecting Adam), Anne Lamott (Traveling Mercies). I also like books on writing (am reading Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way right now), spirituality (Richard Rohr, Rob Bell and Henri Nouwen) and fiction (lacking bedside reading right now in this category!).

  55. sarah on May 6, 2011 at 2:54 PM

    >I love reading non-ficiton…specifically bio and memoirs. Loved Tuesdays with Morrie and Night by Eli Weisel and just read Forgive Dead Man Walking. I find those stories excite me and make me want to reach for my best. And yep…I write non-fiction including stories of my clients and people I meet. I also enjoy a good mystery.

  56. Siri Paulson on May 6, 2011 at 2:52 PM

    >I write science fiction and fantasy. I read a lot in those genres (both adult and YA), but I also read historical fiction, classics, contemporary fiction, non-fiction, poetry… IMHO, it's crucial to know your genre, but it's also helpful to cross-pollinate with other genres.

    The only problem is that because I read widely, I don't get as strong a sense of what's out there in my own genre as I would like to. It's a balancing act.

  57. Jillian Kent on May 6, 2011 at 2:51 PM

    >Historical romance is my favorite and that's why I write it, but it's interesting that I bring in the mystery/suspense element and no wonder, look at the other stuff I read.:) Georgette Heyer, Julia Quinn, The Bronte Sisters, and Julie Lessman.

    Love suspense: Dee Henderson, Kristen Heitzmann, Brandilyn Collins, James Scott Bell, Shawn Grady, James Patterson.

    Mystery: Sherlock Holmes. And if you've never read Bruce Alexander's Sir John Fielding series you're in for a treat if you enjoy the genre.

  58. Mindy on May 6, 2011 at 2:46 PM

    >I write thrillers and I read thrillers. However I have been reading more YA and paranormal lately.

  59. Kay Elam on May 6, 2011 at 2:19 PM

    >Good question. I guess I assumed (oh, that word) all writers read in their genres. Silly me.

    I read pretty much anything that won't give me nightmares but prefer the genre in which I write, mysteries. I like contemporary stories, but will read historical fiction if it is recommended or written by someone I know or really like.

    Have a great weekend!

  60. LindsayWrites on May 6, 2011 at 1:43 PM

    >i am OBSESSED with YA dystopians. that is what i write. I love the action, the high stakes, the growth of the characters.

    That is what I write, I have 2 finished dystopian scifis, but it is NOT the only thing i read.

    reading widely in EVERY genre is honestly the only way to develop and hone your writing skills, in my opinion! great question! =]

  61. Kristin Laughtin on May 6, 2011 at 1:25 PM

    >I write science fiction and fantasy and read widely in both of those, although there's so much output that I never feel quite caught up! I do tend to read a fair bit of literary fiction and historical fiction as well, though.

  62. Marney on May 6, 2011 at 1:14 PM

    >I write literary/upmarket fiction and tend to read a good bit of it as well. Recently, I read Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese and loved it. That said, we're coming up on summer…and digging my feet in the sand with a good beach read sounds pretty nice.

  63. Tiffany on May 6, 2011 at 12:52 PM

    >I have always been a historical/realistic fiction girl as far as reading until about three years ago. I picked up "The Bookseller of Kabul" and a love relationship was formed with memoirs/true life stories. My shelves are now full of them… A Long Way Gone, Eat Love Pray, Stolen Innocence, Sex Lives of Cannibals. It can be a whole life story or a just a piece — an adventure, but something true. And that is what inspired me to write what I am writing: a story of my time as a missionary. Each story is different and so is each writer's voice. I love the diversity that this non-fiction genre has to offer.

  64. Valerie on May 6, 2011 at 12:48 PM

    >I read mostly literary fiction, but I also love a good thriller now and then!
    I lead a book club, and we always try to mix it up a bit, but end up going back to literary. We all love to read a well-written story.
    I write contemporary/literary fiction. However a lot of my writing contains some thriller aspects as well. Nothing like a good murder to stir things up!

    Right now I'm reading The Help, and just finished Cutting For Stone.

    I recently discovered Lee Child, who writes really entertaining thrillers/action stories.

  65. midnightblooms on May 6, 2011 at 12:41 PM

    >1. fantasy and urban fantasy
    2. I'm trying (so many books!)

    I can't comprehend not reading the genre I write. I write stories I want to read.

    Now I read other genres. I love mysteries and romances and YA. I'll read historical fiction to cleanse my palate and non-fiction to learn new stuff. But my first love is always Fantasy and UF.

  66. The Desert Rocks on May 6, 2011 at 12:38 PM

    >I read non-fiction books, biographies and classics like Twain, Fitzgerald, Wharton, Marquez. I also read things like Cussler, Hiaasen, and Tom Wolf but I don't know what genre they fall into. Since I'm writing women's fiction, I thought I should start reading more women's fiction and romance. I mention five fun books I just finished reading on my blog at http://thedesertrocks.blogspot.com

  67. Rebecca LuElla Miller on May 6, 2011 at 12:38 PM

    >Duh! One more to include. I'm just finishing The Mountains Bow Down and now have a new favorite mystery author, Sibella Giorella.


  68. Rebecca LuElla Miller on May 6, 2011 at 12:30 PM

    >I messed up the html for my last category. It should have read

    Women's fiction – Sharon Sousa, Kathleen Popa, Debbie Thomas, Kathryn Cushman


  69. Rebecca LuElla Miller on May 6, 2011 at 12:22 PM

    >My reading genre of choice is fantasy, preferably high fantasy. Consequently I am writing in the genre I read.

    I also read a smattering of mystery and women's fiction.

    My favorite authors in these genres include:

    Fantasy – Jonathan Rogers (just nominated for the Christy Award in the YA category for The Charlatan's Boy), Andrew Peterson (Christy Award winner in the YA category in 2010), Jill Williamson (Christy Award winner in 2010 and nominated again this year)

    Mystery – J. Mark Bertrand

    – Sharon Sousa, Kathleen Popa, Debbie Thomas, Kathryn Cushman


  70. Anonymous on May 6, 2011 at 12:20 PM

    >Amber S.

    I feel very sorry for you. Sex is certainly a good thing for a husband and wife, but if you can't say your best relationships would have existed without sex, you haven't experienced any good relationships.

  71. Sara Thompson on May 6, 2011 at 12:17 PM

    >I read a lot of variety to some extent. I like YA a little better than adult fiction just because they leave out the sex part. I don't mind sex but I really like a plot that isn't interrupted because the "couple" has urges. I read a lot of cozies but I love paranormal, horror, suspense. I think this reflects in my writing because I can't really tell you what genre I write in and it seems that each project could potential fit in a different genre. I'd love for it to be classified YA but my characters are slightly too old for that genre.

  72. Author Jennifer Hudson Taylor on May 6, 2011 at 11:10 AM

    >I meant also my favorite genre to read.

  73. Author Jennifer Hudson Taylor on May 6, 2011 at 11:10 AM

    >I write historical Christian fiction and it is also my favorite genre to write. It's hard to get me to read anything else, but I will venture into contemporary, women's fiction and romantic suspense, although I prefer historical romantic suspense.

  74. Laila Knight on May 6, 2011 at 11:05 AM

    >I read dark fantasy, high fantasy, urban fantasy, historical romance, paranormal romance, some science fiction as long as it has a romantic aspect, some horror, anything dealing with metaphysics, the supernatural,and the occasional self-help book. I don't have a favorite author. Each writer has something wonderful to offer.

    As a fantasy writer I like mixing light with dark, dabbing it with science fiction, and adding a generous touch of the erotic. I read what I love, and write what I would love to read.

  75. Caroline Starr Rose on May 6, 2011 at 11:00 AM

    >I write middle grade and picture books and read literary, mystery, historicals, non-fiction, MG, and YA.

  76. Ruth Madison on May 6, 2011 at 10:48 AM

    >I read literary and chick lit. I attempt to write literary, but sometimes it's more like a weird blend of both.

  77. Jill on May 6, 2011 at 10:28 AM

    >I write in Christian spec fic/supernatural and enjoy the high quality authors in this genre, such as Tosca Lee and Jeffrey Overstreet. I also feel the supernatural has a convergence w/ Gothic romances, which are often called women's fiction in today's market (like Kate Morton's The Forgotten Garden, for example). So I also read widely in women's fiction/Gothic romance, because my books resemble women's fiction more than they resemble supernatural suspense or fantasy. But maybe I'm over-classifying!

  78. Kathryn Packer Roberts on May 6, 2011 at 10:26 AM

    >I definitely read the genre I'm writing (YA). I can't get enough of them. They really help me with pacing, etc. Which is the biggest thing I think I needed to learn after writing my first book.

    When I'm not reading YA, (and really I haven't read for a long time anything that wasn't YA) I read the old stuff. The classics. I love the language, the time period, historical settings. Interestingly enough I don't ever read modern Historical Fiction. If I'm going to read that I want it to come from an author who has lived it. Makes it more real to me.

  79. Kathryn Packer Roberts on May 6, 2011 at 10:26 AM

    >I definitely read the genre I'm writing (YA). I can't get enough of them. They really help me with pacing, etc. Which is the biggest thing I think I needed to learn after writing my first book.

    When I'm not reading YA, (and really I haven't read for a long time anything that wasn't YA) I read the old stuff. The classics. I love the language, the time period, historical settings. Interestingly enough I don't ever read modern Historical Fiction. If I'm going to read that I want it to come from an author who has lived it. Makes it more real to me.

  80. Kate on May 6, 2011 at 10:25 AM

    >I write contempeary YA, and read it extensively. My favorite authors are Sarah Dessen, Laurie Halse Anderson, and John Green. I do read books in other genres to though. Some MG and some OA (old adult), plus a lot of YA that isn't contemporary (dystopia, paranormal, etc).

    Even though I enjoy reading stuff by Scott Westfeld, Kiesten White, and Maggie Stiefvater I don't currently feel any urges to try and write anything but contemporary.

  81. Noelle Pierce on May 6, 2011 at 10:19 AM

    >I read a lot of genres, from romance to thriller to YA fantasy. I read extensively in historical romance, which I mostly write. However, a UF/Paranormal romance idea came to me in a dream and I've been writing that. I don't like vampires or werewolves or demons, so I'm still trying to find authors who write paranormal without those elements. (Recommendations from anyone are welcome). I like the Fae (currently reading Karen Marie Moning's DARKFEVER), magic, and light paranormal, such as Elizabeth Boyle's two-book series starting with HIS MISTRESS BY MORNING. I also enjoyed Gena Showalter's PLAYING WITH FIRE, but prefer the stories with mythology or some sort of mysticism, rather than ordinary people "becoming" extraordinary like superheroes.

    To answer your question: I want to read widely in the subgenre I'm writing, but I've been having difficulties finding a plethora of non-vampire/werewolf/demon paranormals. 😀 (Though I do know they're out there…)

  82. Ez on May 6, 2011 at 10:14 AM

    >I write MG, and I try to stay on top of what is current in that market, but broken down my reading diet is something like

    50% children's literature (YA &MG)
    15% Fantasy
    10% Non fiction
    10% Women's fiction
    10% Literary fiction/classics
    5% Romance

  83. MJR on May 6, 2011 at 10:08 AM

    >I love intelligent chick lit, but it's hard to find–I think because the publishing industry has decided it's dead as a genre (that's what I'm writing). I love lad lit too (Nick Hornby).

    I love a well written story, that isn't particularly literary but isn't primarily a romance either(like THE FORGOTTEN GARDEN, I think I heard about it here). Historical fiction falls into this category.

    I love good memoirs of all kinds–doesn't matter who it is, as long as it tells a good story. I'm partial to memoirs about animals. Cat lovers, here's a good one: HOMER'S ODYSSEY. I love biographies too (just read CLEOPATRA–interesting).

    I'm a little tired of what I might call "the dead relative" type of novel, ie something awful happened (some terrible accident that a family member feels guilty about etc) in the past and now the family has to deal with the repercussions years later. Whenever I go into a bookstore, I see so many of these novels!

  84. H. A. Titus on May 6, 2011 at 9:56 AM

    >1) My favorite genres to read are thrillers, suspense, science fiction, fantasy, and–this surprises everyone when I tell them–chick lit. All the others are so intense most of the time that I have to have a relaxing book every once in a while.

    2)I write several different sub-genres of speculative fiction: fantasy, science-fantasy, science fiction, and steampunk. I try to read in all of those, but it's hard to find good books in science-fantasy and steampunk.

    Favorite authors in my genres would have to be: Tolkien, Lewis, Jeffrey Overstreet, Donita K. Paul, Bryan Davis, and Isaac Asimov.

  85. Carrie L. Lewis on May 6, 2011 at 9:55 AM

    >1. What is your preferred genre to read?
    Suspense – Frank Peretti, James Scott Bell
    Literary – Chaim Potok, Gina Holmes

    2. Are you reading widely in the genre(s) that you write?
    I write pretty much the same genres I read.

    3. If you’re not, what’s your rationalization?

  86. Rosemary Gemmell on May 6, 2011 at 9:31 AM

    >Interesting question. I have a very wide taste in reading, as I do in writing! Generally, I read historical romance, women's contemporary, sometimes crime, occasionally YA. And I'm writing historical romance (but I don't read the same type of book while I'm writing it), women's contemporary and children's, so far.

  87. Melody on May 6, 2011 at 9:30 AM

    >Let's see, I read pretty much any YA fiction. The only YA genres I don't read are paranormal (I've tried. I couldn't enjoy it.) and chick-lit, like Sarah Dessen. My particular favorites of YA are dystopian and spy/secret-agent/adventure/suspense.

    Unsurprisingly, I write only YA. And I write mostly dystopian and suspense. I have yet to write either YA chick-lit or paranormal. So yes, I read fairly exclusively only (there's some adverbs for you) in my writing genres! 🙂

  88. Amber S on May 6, 2011 at 9:27 AM

    >1. What is your preferred genre to read? Romance Erotica
    2. Are you reading widely in the genre(s) that you write? Yes
    3. If you’re not, what’s your rationalization? N/A

    I have no problem with written porn, but that's not what romance erotica is to me. So much of relationship-building happens during sex. Sex is the most amazing, profound way we can ever connect with another human being (besides giving birth to one). Friendship is great but romance, almost by definition, is friendship with the addition of sex. And sex, just like every character and relationship and conversation, is completely unique, each and every instance of it. Not just the physical mechanics (although those, too, tend to be unique) but what both sides are feeling, thinking and how they come out on the other side.

  89. Emma Cunningham on May 6, 2011 at 9:26 AM

    >1. What is your preferred genre to read?
    I love fantasy – all forms: high fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormals, you name it. I also read a fair bit of thrillers and am lately reading nonfic political books (Canadian).

    2. Are you reading widely in the genre(s) that you write?
    Not a writer. 🙂 I AM reading in the genre I publish, though – meaning many different varieties of romance novels as well as other types of genre fic and women's lit. I'm always amazed by how many books I love outside of my "usual" genres.

    One thing I DON'T read is literary fiction. I want a story.

  90. kathrineroid on May 6, 2011 at 9:16 AM

    >Fantasy, historical fiction, adventure, mysteries, thrillers, and of course the genre I write: science fiction. I probably read more science fiction than anything else. I can't stand romance, and paranormal and horror aren't my cup of tea, but otherwise I will read anything.

    I can't imagine someone trying to write science fiction without reading in the genre. The entire essence of science fiction is writing the weird and wonderful; the unexpected and new. How can you know what is new if you don't know what is old? How will you learn to present the weird if you don't know how the best authors did?

    Personally, I would still be at a loss if you asked me who my favorite authors in science fiction are. I could name the authors of my favorite science fiction books easily enough. But I don't feel like I've read widely enough and sampled enough of a number of authors to truly pick a favorite.

  91. Cynthia Herron on May 6, 2011 at 9:02 AM

    >I read everything that might appeal to me, even though it might not be what I write. I do this to stay grounded, to gain insight, and to remain abreast of market trends. I truly admire other authors for the various genres they write, and I'm thrilled by such diversity!

    Now, that being said, I write contemporary Christian romance so that's what I enjoy reading the most.

  92. Anonymous on May 6, 2011 at 9:00 AM

    >I will admit, slightly shamefaced, that I love well-written happily ever after romances. Not the formula ones but the unique ones. I could read dozens a week (and do). I also love good YA because I find you get the adventure without the overblown sex.

    I have a fondness for thrillers too…but please no spies, submarines or international terrorists. I like thrillers about the ordinary guy surviving against huge odds and beating the bad guy.

    I also read classic literature. I loved Grapes of Wrath, Crime and Punishment, To Kill a Mockingbird.

    I do not like anything with magic, elves, witches or that talk like they are in a bad Camelot drama.

    I'm not much for sci-fi either but there are exceptions.

    I hate sad books. I know, I know but I have too much sadness in my own life to borrow it in a book.


  93. Summer Frey on May 6, 2011 at 8:52 AM

    >I don't discriminate. I love all kinds of books, and as far as inspiration goes, I can get it from any genre. That being said, I do read a lot of urban fantasy, as that's one of my favorite niches, and the one where I like to write. But, I also read a lot of mystery, thriller, romance, sci-fi, women's fiction, literary fiction…

  94. Connie on May 6, 2011 at 8:51 AM

    >I'm not sure I have a preferred genre–though I like to read YA and mysteries when I'm stressed. But I like to read lots of different genres because there's so much to be learned from reading outside your comfort zone. For example, even though I'm not a sci fi reader, I'll read things like Dune because the author does such an amazing job of world building (setting) without getting tedious–he ties the setting in with the action so that it's seamless. No boring paragraphs of description that most readers skip.

  95. Elizabeth Michels on May 6, 2011 at 8:50 AM

    >Hello my name is Elizabeth Michels and I'm a Historical Romance addict. As a friend of mine said recently, "They're brain candy!" It was my love of my genre that encouraged me to write my genre. I read it. I write it. I love it.

  96. Brenda Anderson on May 6, 2011 at 8:48 AM

    >I'll read most anything and love to vary my choices. I read contemporary & mystery/suspense most frequently, with spec fiction right behind. But my favorite books tend to have a literary bent. I love Athol Dickson, Tosca Lee, Susan Meissner, Charles Martin, Lisa Samson, and too many more to name.

    I write contemporary fiction, but would love to be a literary author. Someday …

  97. Jessica on May 6, 2011 at 8:43 AM

    >I think I read young adult the most, followed by fantasy and scifi. I also love historical fiction in various genres (romance in particular, though I do love a feel-good novel every now and then).

    I love Tamora Pierce, Jacqueline Carey, Raymond E. Feist (earlier the book, the better), Julie Garwood (romance, not mystery), Juliet Marillier, and Isobelle Carmody.

  98. Kaleen on May 6, 2011 at 8:28 AM

    >I love YA paranormal. My fav authors are Cassandra Clare, Melissa Marr, Claudia Gray… and even some YA dystopian by Suzanne Collins. Just read Carrie Jones "Need". I read anything I can get my hands on in YA paranormal, and especially love stuff with romance in it. My last novel was paranormal romance, but was adult. Now I'm writing YA.

  99. Huntress on May 6, 2011 at 8:20 AM

    >Urban fantasy is my drug of choice with a little epic or high fantasy on the side. I read them almost exclusively.
    Authors I adore are Patrick Rothfuss, Jim Butcher, Richelle Mead, and Patricia Briggs.

    All my novels are in this genre. I couldn't imagine writing another genre.
    As an example, Water For Elephants: It's a good book and I enjoyed it. But no fireworks for me, nothing that kept me thinking about it for days after I finished reading it.

  100. CraftyMama on May 6, 2011 at 8:08 AM

    >1.) Christian Historical Fiction Romances, although sometimes I like to hop back to the present 🙂
    2.) I hope to write in this genre someday. For now I just do copywriting.

    Deeanne Gist is a super author — my favorite in that genre! I've also liked Julie Lessman and Karen Witemeyer. If I need a modern Christian romance, I turn to Robin Jones Gunn.

  101. Wendy Paine Miller on May 6, 2011 at 7:46 AM

    >1. I love women’s fiction. But I can fall in love with a book in any genre. I’m savoring the one I’m reading now, The Outside Boy (highly recommend and I’m excited to read the author’s memoir).

    2. Yes.

    Here are a few of my favs:
    Sue Monk Kidd, Jodi Picoult, Kathryn Stockett, Anita Diamant, Sara Gruen, Elizabeth Berg, Barbara Kingsolver, Sharon Souza, Jacquelyn Mitchard…

    I read A Watershed Year (my kind of women’s fiction) recently and was honored to meet up with the author to discuss her writing journey.

    Happy Mother’s Day, Rachelle!
    ~ Wendy

  102. Kathleen@so much to say on May 6, 2011 at 7:44 AM

    >I read pretty extensively, at least considering the commitments of caring for kids & home as well as writing–but I don't read in a genre. I read all over the board: thriller, women's, romance, commercial, historical, sci-fi, YA, literary. (And NF.) The directive to read extensively in the genre you write is, I think, logical, but very difficult to do without pigeonholing yourself. If that makes sense.

  103. Laura Pauling on May 6, 2011 at 7:35 AM

    >I love reading and writing Middle grade and young adult. I do read what I write but I also read outside of the genre because I can always learn from the different styles of different genres and apply the techniques to my own writing. I think reading in the genre you write is a must. And sometimes you don't realize how important it is until you start.

  104. Kelly Combs on May 6, 2011 at 7:33 AM

    >I do read a lot of Christian inspirational, which is my writing genre as well.

    However, I love Robert B Parker and Stuart Woods, who are secular mystery/thriller writers. That's definitely not my writing genre, but I love to read them!

  105. Dunx on May 6, 2011 at 7:19 AM

    >I read science fiction with a smattering of fantasy, while I am writing science fiction that starts off looking like fantasy.

    Favourite SF authors are Iain M Banks, Neal Stephenson and Charles Stross: Banks generally does space opera; Stephenson's work is about information flow; while Stross covers so many SF styles it is difficult to summarise.

    The fantasy authors I read most are Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, although I want to read more of China Miéville's books too.

    And my rationalisation is simple: I write what I would like to read.

  106. Kristy K on May 6, 2011 at 6:59 AM

    >I mostly read non-fiction, inspirational, which is what I'm currently writing. But I do love a good romance also.

  107. Catherine West on May 6, 2011 at 6:57 AM

    >I love reading literary fiction, romance, women's fiction and I will read historicals if they are sweeping sagas with real meat in them, not just a little book that happens to be set in the 15th century or whatever. I'm pretty picky with historicals because they really have to capture my interest with setting and characterization from the get go. I suppose that's true with every genre. If I get bored, I stop reading. I don't have time to plow through a book simply to say I finished it.
    Fave authors? I recently discovered Charles Martin and I'm enjoying his books. Lisa Wingate, Sherryl Woods on the romance side – when I need a good laugh I'll see what Jenny B. Jones is up to, and I was thrilled to discover Sandie Bricker a while back, Always the Baker, Never the Bride made me laugh out loud. MY TBR pile is huge, but summer is coming!

  108. Missy on May 6, 2011 at 6:40 AM

    >I write ya para rom. I read ya para rom, ya distopian and ya fantasy. When asked who my favorites are, I sound like I don't read widely. I do, I just only like a small percentage. Most read like they were rushed into print after Twilight.

  109. Naomi Rawlings on May 6, 2011 at 6:34 AM

    >I write Inspirational Historical Romance and I read a lot of that as well. Some authors I've resently enjoyed are Gist, Frantz, and Mitchell. Heitzmann has long been one of my favorite authors.

    I read anything romance, and I tend to favor inspirational historicals and general market contemporaries.

  110. Rik on May 6, 2011 at 6:18 AM

    >This is going to make me sound stupid, but I don't have a favourite genre for reading. Rather I have a set of favourite authors who I return to time and time again – and it takes a lot to pursuade me to try a different author.

    I really need to be braver in my reading choices, but for me a book can be as much a comfort blanket as it is an adventure.

  111. Elanor Lawrence on May 6, 2011 at 6:13 AM

    >1. What is your preferred genre to read?— My favourite kind of story would be YA dystopia

    2. Are you reading widely in the genre(s) that you write?— Kind of… I read a lot of things that aren't dystopias, but they're all still YA.

    3. If you’re not, what’s your rationalization?— Basically, since YA counts as a genre, and I read and write exclusively YA, I am reading and writing in the same genre. Since I write for a more specific audience (dystopia/sci-fi/thriller)I try to read all the big releases in those areas. I don't read exclusively in those areas because I like to keep a bigger idea of what's being published in YA as a whole.

  112. Sharon A. Lavy on May 6, 2011 at 6:11 AM

    >I read John Grisham. I would never try to write a lawyer book.

    I think I have read all Louis LaMour's books. If I found one I hadn't read I would read it. I have no desire to write historical or western.

    I have read all of LaVerle Sterlings books. I bought them all and thought I would highlight them. But then I realized she head hops. Sigh.

    I really, really, really like Iris Johansen's books. I have not read them all. But every once in a while I have to find a new one to read.

    I read a lot for book reviews and they are fine, but sometimes I need something more.

    What I care about = people and issues. What I write I am told is Women's fiction. I like suspense, but not horror.

  113. Katy McKenna on May 6, 2011 at 6:08 AM

    >My favorite genre (besides memoir) is contemporary women's fiction, laced with almost a British (dry) humor. @RodCrompton above mentioned Nick Hornby. I still smile every time I think about the fun I had reading "How To Be Good." Humor with a point. Love it! And don't really want to write a novel that has one without the other.

  114. Timothy Fish on May 6, 2011 at 5:37 AM

    >I read anything that looks good and some things that don’t. I gravitate to mysteries, fantasy and science fiction. But I don’t like dark stories. I prefer stories that have an optimistic view of the world. But I find that I also read romances and women’s fiction—primarily because that is what several of the writers I interact with are writing. It isn’t that I have a great desire to read this stuff, but if I’m going to read their books that’s what I have to do.

    I won’t say that I necessarily read within the genre I write, but when I see a book with a similar plot to what I write, I will often buy it.

  115. phoenixfallacy on May 6, 2011 at 4:40 AM

    >My bookshelves are an eclectic mess of anything and everything, and I can't decide on a single favorite author to save my life.

    Lately, I guess I've been leaning more towards literary fiction, which happens to be what I write (or at least try to write…). My favorite authors in this area include Samuel Beckett, Oscar Wilde and probably Edgar Allan Poe as well. I recently read my first Ayn Rand novel too, and while I found the message a little too extremist, I thought her writing was absolutely beautiful.

    I also read a lot of fantasy, though I think it's harder to find good fantasy that is aimed at an older audience these days. Shockingly, I am not a big fan of Tolkien – I could never get through Lord of the Rings – but give me the Wheel of Time books, and I'm a happy camper. Harry Potter is also a favorite, and I'll happily read anything J.K. Rowling writes next.

  116. Icy Sedgwick on May 6, 2011 at 4:09 AM

    >I read lots of non-fiction as fuel for the writing fire, and it can be anything from the social history of poison to the English Civil War! As far as fiction goes, I tend to favour things in the sci-fi/fantasy/horror/just plain weird camp, although I'll read historical novels if the blurb catches my interest. Also, I'm a BIG fan of Westerns and would like to see them make a comeback.

  117. Rob Crompton on May 6, 2011 at 3:20 AM

    >I enjoy reading Nick Hornby, Mark Haddon, Ian McEwan and I guess my writing is in a roughly similar genre. But it is also strongly regional and my favourites in that category are Mary Webb, Winifred Holtby, Elizabeth Gaskell and Beatrice Tunstall.

  118. Marja on May 6, 2011 at 3:06 AM

    >I read mainly Christian non fiction, spiritual growth. This is also the genre of my WIP, so I get inspired all the time!
    I might occasionally read a novel, but it has to be really something special. Recently I read The Shack, Life of Pi and the Singular Pilgrim.

  119. Marion on May 6, 2011 at 2:22 AM

    >My WIP is mainstream, set in ancient Egypt.
    I read mainstream, especially first-person, and the occasional memoir. But I also read mysteries, thrillers, etc., if they catch my interest. Light reading, yes. But also I think it's a good way, subliminally, to get a better grip on plot & pacing.
    Also enjoy juvie. Holes. Rick Riordan's Greek mythology series.
    Recently reread Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles & Charlotte Bronte's Villette.
    I avoid like the plague anything set in ancient Egypt. Don't want to contaminate my ideas (or plagiarize, even unconsciously.)

  120. Kate Larkindale on May 6, 2011 at 2:04 AM

    >I write contemporary YA, so I read a lot of that, but I also read widely in adult fiction. Anything from thrillers to literary. Not a lot of romance, I'm afraid, but I do occasionally pick one up from the library.

    I'm not at all into sci-fi or fantasy, but a lot of people in my writing groups write that, so I end up reading it without picking it.

    But to be honest, I'll read pretty much anything. If I get on the bus and don't have a book, I'll pick up the free real-estate mags just to have something to read. I can't bear to be without something to run my eyes across…

  121. Adam Heine on May 6, 2011 at 2:03 AM

    >Write: Sci-Fi/Fantasy (previously adult, now YA)

    Read: primarily Sci-Fi/Fantasy, both YA and adult

    I read what I want to read, and I write what I want to read. If I wrote only what I thought would sell, I think I'd start to hate the job.

  122. Ted Cross on May 6, 2011 at 2:02 AM

    >I read fantasy, sci-fi, history, historical fiction, horror, and a mixture of other books when they catch my interest.

    I write fantasy and sci-fi. Within those genres I feel I read fairly widely, but I don't touch the subsets that are unappealing to me, such as paranormal romance, urban fantasy, steampunk, and most YA. I've tried enough of those to know I just don't enjoy them for the most part.

  123. Sierra Gardner on May 6, 2011 at 12:50 AM

    >I actually like to read a lot of everything but enjoy literary fiction, good sci-fi or fantasy and a well written YA. Mostly I read books that have been recommended by friends.

    I write thrillers and do read within my genre but not widely. I find that it can sometimes be difficult to find books in my genre that I really enjoy.

  124. BK on May 6, 2011 at 12:40 AM

    >I prefer to read 19th century American historicals with little or no romance, male protag driven. At one time I would've said western but somehow that doesn't quite fit the scope or definition of what I'm looking for.

    Since that category is very hard to find, I go for my next best option, which are military genre books such as those by Alton Gansky/Jeff Struecker, etc. Others authors of this genre have been recommended to me that I haven't had time to read yet. (Truthfully I'd love to write military genre books too but I recognize my limitations. I'll have to stick to being a reader).

    The closest thing I've found to my historical reading preferences is Kay Marshall Strom's Grace in Africa series, but of course that's female protag driven.

  125. JJ on May 6, 2011 at 12:37 AM

    >I love to read thrillers and suspense and that's my preference when I have time for fun reading. But since I'm a freelance editor, I read widely in most all genres to keep up with what's out there and how rules might be changing.

    I find that thrillers–either books or movies–make ideas fire in my head, so, yes, I read deep in the genre I most enjoy writing.

  126. Robert Trevino on May 6, 2011 at 12:30 AM

    >1. I write Contemporary Fantasy and generally read the same.

    2. I don't necessarily read widely in that genre.

    3. I like fantasy's that are set in modern times such as Harry Potter or Spiderwick but not very much ones set in the "past" such as the Lord of the Rings series. I do make exceptions if the book is lighthearted and has humor such as Piers Anthony's Xanth series although it's not a hardcore fantasy series.

    Since I don't write serious stories I don't read serious stories. That being said I do have at least two ideas for novels that will be more serious than the stuff I normally write and may have to read a more serious contemporary fantasy before I write them. But that will have to wait as I have a handful of other ideas I need to write before I tackle those two.

    *misspelled a word and re posted comment*

  127. Lauren B. on May 6, 2011 at 12:12 AM

    >I read mostly science/speculative fiction and literary fiction. Trying to read even more widely in this genre, as well as expose myself to some genres I normally don't read at all, like romance.

    Favorite authors in my chosen genre are Margaret Atwood, Kazuo Ishiguro, China Mieville, Neal Stephenson.

    WIP is speculative fiction (i.e. science fiction, but no space, aliens, etc.)

  128. Shelly Goodman Wright on May 6, 2011 at 12:11 AM

    >I read what I write, sort of. Although I love the Harry Potter series and the Twlight novels (and my favorite author is Stephen King), I also love the Left Behind series and the Narnia books. I also love reading my bible. What I write, combines the genres into one (well not the magic aspects, werewolves or vampires–but taking those evils and turning them into the real evils–Satan and his demons) I write what I think is missing in the market. Christian Romance/Suspense fiction, that is not another western, omnish,or southern bell.

  129. Mesmer7 on May 6, 2011 at 12:07 AM

    >I read mostly sci fi and non-fiction, but recently picked up a couple of romances and one horror novel. My limit, of course, is what I can get from the library.

  130. Malin on May 6, 2011 at 12:04 AM

    >I read everything but memoirs and claimed real novels. Something about the writer claiming its a true story makes my head go into overdrive trying to figure out what's true and not – because everybody lies in some way.

    My favourite genres are thrillers, horror, "faint fantasy" (Neil Gaiman, Joanne Harris, Paulo Coelho etc), women's fiction and sci-fi.

    I write fantasy and sci-fi but am rethinking my strategy – I might be in the wrong genres for my strengths as a writer. I have read extensively (exclusively!) in those genres for many years though not so much anymore. I must say I've not devoured the kind I've aimed for which is urban fantasy. The reason for that is that I find very few books in that genre with a more advanced language, plotting and characterization. They simply can't keep my attention. There are a bunch of quality ones, but they're far between and Sweden doesn't have such a great range of urban fantasy available (not even in English).

  131. Jessi on May 6, 2011 at 12:00 AM

    >I like reading science fiction, especially the post-apocalyptic/dystopian kind. I also like reading fantasy. Most of the books I read are from the YA section of the library.
    My current project is post-apocalyptic science fiction with Christian themes, geared to the YA audience so I’m basically trying to write what I like to read, though I’ve never found anything quite like the books I write. I also have a few ideas for other books, most of which are in genres I like to read.
    I do have some ideas that, if I were to describe them, seem fall into genres I don’t read. My style would not fit the genres they first appear to fall in so I do not consider them part of those genres. (These books are a long ways from being written because I know they would be hard to sell.)


  132. Keli Gwyn on May 5, 2011 at 11:59 PM

    >My favorite reads are inspirational historical romances, which are what I write. I have lots of authors whose work I enjoy, among them: Tamara Alexander, Margaret Brownley, Amanda Cabot, Mary Connealy, Deeanne Gist, Jody Hedlund, Cara Lynn James, and Karen Witemeyer.

  133. Stephsco on May 5, 2011 at 11:49 PM

    >Since I started writing more seriously, I've made it a point to be more focused in what I read. I used to read just about anything that a friend recommended or what my mom traded me, etc. Now, I've read primarily YA, from paranormal, dystopian, contemporary, historical. I definitely have my favorites, but I find I can get into a story no matter what if the writing is the style I enjoy: witty, zippy, not overly wordy.

    I'm excited to see the YA book "Putting Make-Up on Dead People" which comes out later this month. The synopsis describes the type of book I've been hoping to find in YA. While the topic itself isn't similar to what I'm writing, I have the feeling that the playful tone dealing with serious issues like death will give me perspective on whether my story can pull that off.

  134. bfav on May 5, 2011 at 11:46 PM

    >I'm a MG writer. I read MG, YA, and a smattering of Adult Fiction (for pleasure and book club).

  135. Lauren on May 5, 2011 at 11:45 PM

    >I'm reading and writing in the science fiction and fantasy crowd so that's what I read most of. My two favorites are Eoin Colfer and JK Rowling. 😀

  136. Lisa on May 5, 2011 at 11:36 PM

    >I’m a big sucker for single-title contemporary romance novels, of which Jennifer Cruisie is queen. However, a gal in my RWA chapter, Louisa Edwards, recently piqued my interest with her “Recipe for Love” CRs. These are yummy! (Pun intended.) I still remain true to some of my favorite suspense romance novelists, like Linda Howard and Sharon Sala/Dinah McCall. Dee Davis, also originally from Austin, has some great books out there, too. J’adore romance! The only thing that’s a real hard sell for me within this genre is paranormal — although recently, I discovered a writer on Book Country, Lisa Kessler, who has a novel called “Night Walker” that is To. Die. For. Her characters have a wisdom and maturity that I don’t find in a lot of these books. Her book will be released in August of this year. Angela Carter writes so lyrically, there’s almost a pain in the beauty (I had an opportunity to study with her … now it’s too late, and I regret that a lot). Austinite (and friend) Sarah Bird makes me howl with laughter. As far as autobiographical or memoir-type books, Henry Rollins is insanely talented; something about the way he writes, so simply but meaningfully, moves me beyond words. I will pounce on anything written by Murakami immediately. In hardback.

    Really, I could go on and on. For the most part, I enjoy reading books that are appealing to women … that are about love. Mostly romance, but I’m open to other genres as well. ☺

  137. M. R. Pursselley on May 5, 2011 at 11:32 PM

    >Preferred genre to read: well-researched Historical Fiction (NOT bonnet fiction – more like ancient history. T.L. Higley is my favorite author), Christian Fantasy, and Christian Sci-fi.
    Reading what I write? Oh yeah.
    My rationale? Speculative fiction rocks.

  138. Debbie Barr on May 5, 2011 at 11:28 PM

    >I love both MG and YA fantasy, although I've noticed my favorite books lean toward the MG side. I also really like MG and YA contemporary fiction, and I read a lot of those books as well.

    I mostly write MG fantasy, with some YA thrown in as well. I actually try to read widely across all genres in both age groups, because I feel like there's a lot to learn even from genres I don't normally write in. I read as much fantasy as I can, although I've noticed it's been a lot harder to find good recently published YA fantasy since the paranormal genre has exploded on the market.

  139. Marty on May 5, 2011 at 11:26 PM

    >As a writer working on a novel of Greek mythology I read A LOT of books on mythology, history, and general non-fiction.

    I tend to avoid novels written about the mythological characters that I deal with because I find myself becoming either a bit jealous or a bit judgmental.

    That being said, I love to read a good story that is well crafted and brilliantly executed… just NOT in my genre!