How To: Get Into a New Genre

Want to to start reading a new genre, but don't know where to start? This blog post will help you on your quest. | NewberyandBeyond.com
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So maybe you’ve never been one for sci fi, but you want to try it out. Or your best friend has been raving about the latest YA novel, and you have no idea what she’s talking about. Whatever your reason for wanting to try a new genre, it can be intimidating if you don’t know where to start. Keep reading for my best tips on how to get started with the new genre of your choice.

Keep it short. Don’t start with Dune, even if it is a SFF classic. Those 600 pages are likely to cut short your foray into your new genre, so start small. Start with The Hobbit instead of LOTR, and you’re much more likely to want to explore more later.

Choose a topic you already care about. If you want to start reading nonfiction and you’re a teacher, boy do I have some suggestions for you. Similarly, pick a favorite author who is writing in a new genre, like I did when I picked up Shannon Hale’s books for my first graphic novels.

Ask a friend who’s into that genre. If your BFF has been raving over The Hunger Games or Everything, Everything, ask her if she thinks you’d like that book. If not, see if she has a suggestion for a book in that genre you would like.

Look for an author who is considered classic for that genre. But don’t go too old–choose Terry Pratchett over J.R.R. Tolkien, for example. If you want to get into horror, you can’t go wrong with Stephen King. Even if you’re not familiar with the genre and who might be considered a “classic” author, you can check the NYT bestsellers. I know nothing about romance, but if I wanted to get started, I’d look into Danielle Steel. Anyone who has sold over 800 million copies of her books probably knows a little something about her genre.
Have you ever picked up a new genre? How did you go about it?

About Monica

I am obsessed with all things books. I'm a music teacher by day and a freelance editor by night.

  • These are some great tips! …even though I’m a big fan of LOTR 😉 Haha. But yes, Tolkien can be a little much for many palettes.

    • Haha, I have to admit that I had some real trouble getting into LOTR, so I was kind of shocked at how much I enjoyed The Hobbit. Thanks for stopping by!

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