Reading Types

little talks v2

Note: This isn’t a discussion of typefaces, prints and letterings. Sorry, font nerds.

How many times have you heard someone saying: “This is my type of read.” How many times have you said it yourself?

There are a thousand different aspects we can enjoy or like in the books we read. However, there are certain things that we are always fond of. These are our reading types. While they are not necessarily requirements to get in to a book, usually, these are the particular qualities that we look for when we read something new.


Young Adult, New Adult, Adult. Contemporary, Historical, Fantasy, Romance, Dystopian, Paranormal, Science Fiction, Horror, Suspense, Mystery. Genres, sub-genres, age groups- there so many assortment of books! Some of them interbreed and combine but there is that genre that we keep going back to because we love it so much.

For me, it’s anything contemporary. I love the realism of it and I love how I can usually relate. There’s something lovely about how it captures the actuality of life.

Elements & Characteristics

Setting, characters, writing style, plot. We all have our preferences on how we like them. The details of a book, like swoon-worthy love interests, hilarious conversation, beautiful prose, fast-paced action, creative world building, can serve as our type of read.

Of course, it would be ideal for a book to have all those, yes? Well, we can dream on. Personally, my type of read is anything with strong character development. I think this is mainly why I connect with contemporary or realistic fiction the most. It enables character growth in a way that dystopian or fantasy books sometimes can’t. Another reading type of mine: books with satisfying amounts of humour. There’s nothing more enjoyable than reading a book that makes me laugh until my stomach physically hurts.

Last time, I discussed positive reviewers and mentioned that I am a positive reviewer myself because I mostly read books I know I will like. Knowing what my reading types are has allowed that. It’s extremely helpful in being able to determine the possibility of liking a certain book. Granted that being able to read more books that are “your type” is totally fun, I do think branching out and trying different kinds of books from time to time is awesome too.

Now, I ask you:

Do you have reading types? What are they? Which books can you dub as your type of read? Have you ever tried reading a book that didn’t seem like your type but turned out pretty fine? Do tell!

signature new

22 Responses

  1. I think my reading type is pretty much similar to yours, Hazel. These days I mostly read contemporary & coming-of-age young adult, and while I also balance them with some fantasy/dystopia books, I make sure beforehand that the books have been getting really good reviews from other readers. :)

    I do not mind branching out or trying other types of genre, but I think it helps that I know my own ‘rules’, for example I can’t finish and I won’t ever finish a book from the horror genre, so no matter how much hype a certain horror book is getting, I won’t succumb to the pressure and ‘try’ to read the book only to have it being neglected or left unfinished later.

    What about you, Hazel? What genres that are out of your types but you’ve tried to read?

    1. Yey for having similar tastes then! I love coming-of-age stories too! They’re eye-opening and heartening! As much as I want to move on to the fantasy/dystopia books I have left unread, I’ve been stuck reading mostly contemp books recently. It’s just something I’m always in the mood for.

      I like trying new reads from time to time but you’re totally right! I hate it when I’m tempted to read something I normally won’t, just because of the hype around the book. Although it has brought me to several great books, I like going in to a book when I’m ready for it.

      Creepy books aren’t usually my type but I absolutely loved Ransom Riggs’ Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children! I also tried to read a self-help/memoir type of book (which usually isn’t a genre I’d touch) at the start of this year to help me with my resolutions, and it took me a while longer to read but I ended up liking the book. :)

  2. I don’t think I actually have a type! I mean, I typically read young adult fiction, adult occasionally and I tend to give new adult a wide berth, but other than that, I’m not particularly picky over genre. That makes it really hard for me to choose books based on whether or not I think they’ll be ‘me’ reads. :( I’d love to be able to tailor my reading choices like you can!

    1. Wile I’m happy that I know which exactly is ‘my type of read’, I think not having a type is also advantageous! I think it makes someone a wider reader, like a jack of all trades if you must. So don’t you worry about that, Nikki! :)

  3. I think my reading type varies a lot. It depends on my mood, but even then my preferences change every few weeks/months.

    I’m usually a sucker for high school boy+girl+unlikely match contemporary romances. :) And anything to do with outer space or other planets also piques my interest!

    1. I think over time, it’s inevitable to have a more varied reading type, yes? Especially when you’re a really voracious reader! I feel like my reading type expands the more I read as well. Mood is something I really depend on too! I refuse to pick up a book unless I’m in the mood for it.

      Unlikely matches = yes! It’s really nice to see something different from the good girl + bad boy contemporary romances! I’m not sure I’m in to otherworldly books though haha!

      Thanks for dropping by, Ashley! :D

  4. I think I’m the type of reader who enjoys a lot, but fantasy, fairytales, dystopian & paranormal are definitely on top preferred in the YA genre. I also like historical fiction and I love to branch out by trying a contemporary now and then :)

    I love books with sarcastic characters, maps, originality and action :D

    1. We’re opposites then, Mel! It’s exactly those genres that I still need to try more! I’ve been so caught up in contemporary books. I definitely need to reach out to these genres more and give them a go since you like them so much. You must tell me which one are your favourites!

      Sarcastic characters!!! God knows how much I love them!! They definitely contribute to humour. ;) I’m not an action type of gal but I do love originality and maps too! :D

      1. For fantasy, I would suggest you try: Sarah Maas – Throne of glass. Leigh Bardugo – Shadow and bone. Robin LaFevers – Grave Mercy. Rae Carson – Girl of fire and thorns. Laini Taylor – Daughter of smoke and bone.

        For Sci-fi: Marissa Meyer – Cinder.

        Dystopian: perhaps What’s left of me by Kat Zhang.

        Paranormal: perhaps the mythology book Everneath by Brodi Ashton. Or Hemlock from Peacock.

        I’ve tried to pick some books that perhaps fit your interest! :D

  5. I have a lot of different types of books that I will read, but I definitely agree with you that the more I’ve narrowed down my specific “type,” I’ve been a lot more successful in finding books that I know (or strongly think) that I will like, and therefore end up with more positive reviews. But I still try to jump around and try out different stuff every once in a while. I love being surprised by books that I totally didn’t expect to like.

    1. Glad to hear you think so! I think, if i weren’t a book blogger, I’d have been happy reading all the books that are my type but now that I am one, the bookish community inspires me more and more to try out new books I normally wouldn’t pick up! It’s really nice when you like a book you that you usually don’t read. :D

  6. I DEFINITELY have a reading type. Some of my friends who know me really well are able to tell me, “This is such a you book” and it always surprises/weirds me out how spot on they are! I’m a YA contemporary girl. It’s what I relate to and I prefer things that are realistic. I also like books with “mean girls” not because I’m a mean girl or anything, but that’s a world I understand and those characters are often the confident ones in YA, unfortunately. I don’t really relate to the shy, unconfident types, so yeah. I also like romance, but it’s gotta be with the hot jock/bro type guys (I know. I’m making myself sound awful lol). I really liked this discussion, btw!

    1. Thanks, Rachel! I’m so happy to hear you liked the discussion! I actually wasn’t so sure about it at first because I feel that my thoughts were rather unorganized, haha. I’m really glad that y’all still shared your feedback though! :)

      Naw, your reading type aint awful at all. I totally get why your taste is the way it is. It’s actually fabulous- that you really know what you like, and even your friends know it too! High five for being contemporary girls! I definitely relate to the shy types because I am one, but I like reading about confident MCs too! And hot jocks are well- hot! Don’t feel bad about liking them. :D

  7. I’ve actually found this recently as well, that I’m a generally positive reviewer. When I first started blogging and reading a lot more, I had a lot of 2-3 star books, with the 4-5 being far and few between. Now it’s pretty rare even when I get a 3 star review up. I’ve just learned what I like, and what elements really grab me!

    And I think I’ve also learned how to listen to others’ reviews. Sometimes I may really want to read a book, but a friend gave it a negative review, and I read it anyway. Most times I still love it! I’ve learned not to take everyone’s opinion as law, but just keep it as a guide when choosing.

  8. Well I still do think I’m more of a Young Adult Fantasy reader, because they span the majority of the books I own and have read (which are essentially the same things HAHA), although lately, I’ve been opening up to more Contemporary books too! I used to think Contemporary wouldn’t be half as much fun because they’re too close to home, nothing new to offer, but in recent weeks this hasn’t been the case. A lot of the characters are more relatable, and sometimes, it feels great to just kick back and relax with a feel good YAC book at hand! :D I think you have been rubbing off on me, Hazel XD I’ve also tried to open myself up to New Adult, but they’re not quite as good. I think it’s harder to understand the thought processes of college age kids, because I’m not one yet :) Maybe when I’m a little older :D

    As for the elements… I think the character development is of paramount importance, especially when the book is read from that character’s POV. I usually get annoyed by them the most, when they’re not acting the way they should be, given the circumstances XD And also, I think it’s important that the story doesn’t drag and a balance is found between internal and external struggle. And oh, I love books like Tahereh’s and Jandy Nelson’s with amazing poetry! Definitely a plus. A swoon-worthy boy or two wouldn’t hurt either ;)

    Anyway, great discussion Hazel! You’re pretty good at this, I must say!

  9. Very interesting post! Hmm. I prefer science fiction/fantasy/paranormal books, but I do love a good contemporary too. But the most important thing for me is characterization. They don’t necessarily have to be likeable characters, but they have to be well written and make sense. Once I read this horrible book where people described the main character as being brave ad strong, but she was completely weak and selfish.
    Of course, writing and plot matter too, but characters definitely make or break a book for me.

  10. I honestly choose my books based on feeling. I read all sorts of genres except New Adult and Horror because frankly I never see the appeal of those. If I read a synopsis of the book and it seems interesting, I will want to read it. It’s a problem but not that often because I tend to know what I find interesting or not. I totally agree on the strong character development thing, it’s very important for me! *I usually find YA characters to be extremely annoying. Thanks for sharing! :)

  11. Great post, Hazel! I’ve noticed that I don’t really enjoy science fiction, horror, and NA novels because they’re tend to be all over the place for me. Most of the books I do like are contemporary novels (whether it’s YA or adult fiction).

    That said, I do try to have breadth when I read to not limit myself in the same genre for too long! It’s good to have variety and at the end of the day, I read things because they “speak” to me or because they’re interesting.

  12. Geez, I thought we’re going to talk about fonts! ;)

    I consider myself an omnivorous reader, but even an omnivore has her own favorite food, right. I have a soft spot for fantasy and historical fiction. I like stories from a different world, I suppose. I also enjoy contemporary books (Sarah Addison Allen, anyone?), Chicklit, but somehow crime book never gets my attention. I am a coward, I guess, I don’t really enjoy reading stories about murder etc.

    Interesting post!

  13. If I had to pick, I’d say my type is tear jerker! I love books that are full of feelings and if I cry, it’s usually a 5-star read for me! Or maybe “magical realism” – I can’t say no to a book with magic!

    I try to be a fair reviewer. I realize I’m not going to love everything I read, and I try to only request books that I think I will like or that actually appeal to me – same with the library and x23872359 for books that I buy that aren’t on a crazy kindle sale – but they aren’t all going to be winners. Negative reviews are easier than positive ones, for sure, but I wouldn’t rag on a book just because snark is easy humor.

    I feel like I just KNOW what I like, so this is an interesting thing to think about!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Are You In?

Get our latest posts right in your inbox and 
stay bookish with us!

Follow Stay Bookish on