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What You Don’t Know About Genre

by on December 26, 2012

Steampunk. Street lit. Sword-and-sorcery. Graphic novels. Hard sci-fi. Paranormal romance.  The list of genres and sub-genres of popular literature, film, and other media titles relevant to your patrons is endless. As trends in reading and publishing change, so do library’s efforts to develop collections and reach out to potential users. Lucky for librarians, there are resources available for learning about different genres and figuring out how best to expand existing collections, develop exciting programming, and highlight new titles.

The following are a few places to begin your journey into the wonderfully diverse world of genre literature.

  • Bitten by Books is a site dedicated to the paranormal reader community. Features on the site include author and reader community chats, book and film/ TV reviews, and contests and giveaways. http://bittenbybooks.com/
  • Goodreads is a virtual reader community and social network that allows users to provide book reviews, create forums and groups, link up with their favorite authors, win book giveaways, and create lists. Although it is not a genre site like the others listed, it does have features that earn it a place on this list. Goodreads invites users to rate “best of…” books annually and within genres,  authors and publishers host chats and forum discussions frequently on the site, and genre-based groups regularly make suggestions, hold virtual book club meetings, and share news with members. http://www.goodreads.com/
  • Io9 is the resident science fiction, fantasy, and related genres blog from the Gawker community. Its regular features include “Morning Spoilers,” with news of upcoming genre media; “Superlist,” which include book and other media “best of…” compilations; and reviews of novels, graphic novels and comic books, films/DVDs, and other media releases. io9 is sure to be a useful resource for anyone looking to learn about what genre fans are talking and to what they’re looking forward. http://io9.com/
  • No Flying, No Tights is a one-stop resource for librarians and educators interested in graphic novels, comic books, and manga. Though the site was developed primarily as a resource for adults working with YA readers, No Flying, No Tights does have a page dedicated to adult-level titles.  Remember, however, that comic book and graphic novel readership interests, reading levels, and content often overlap between YA and adult readers. Therefore, much of the site’s content is applicable for both young and adult readers. http://noflyingnotights.com/
  • Smart Bitches, Trashy Books is the romance-reader’s blog. Never pandering to the stereotype of the avid romance genre reader, Smart Bitches infuses reviews with thoughtful criticisms and worthwhile recommended reading titles. Posts on the site include essays about the genre, news about upcoming titles, romance author Q&As, publisher and retailer sales events, and more.  http://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/
  • Steampunk.com is a website dedicated to topics of interest to the steampunk genre including book reviews, suggested reading and “best of…” lists, steampunk lifestyle and fashion tips, and other interest articles. This site is an especially good introduction to the steampunk genre in all its facets. http://www.steampunk.com/
  • Street Fiction is a site dedicated to reviews and features of the street lit genre. Books of this genre are urban-centric realistic fictions (or non-fictions) with characters, settings, and situations that relate to living in urban areas and often minority or disenfranchised communities. Street Fiction includes reviews, author interviews, and other features related to street lit titles. http://www.streetfiction.org/
  • Tor is the consummate genre geek’s blog. Its tagline is “Science fiction. Fantasy. The universe.” Articles cover the gamut of genre from all ends of the media spectrum and include features on upcoming and existing titles. http://www.tor.com/


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