According to a recent article in WIRED magazine:
“There are multiple theories for the genre dominance in digital publishing, including the appeal of anonymity offered by e-reader devices, which don’t display the cover of a potentially embarrassing book for all the world to see. But the digital delivery system also offers immediacy and ease of access for material that often is serialized and written to make you want to know what happens next, as soon as possible. Liate Stehlik, senior vice president and publisher at HarperCollins, subscribes to that idea, at least partially. Genre fans, she says, became “early adopters” of the digital format because e-books are the optimal format “for people who want to read a lot of books, quickly and frequently. Digital has replaced the paperback, certainly the paperback originals. I think the audience that gravitated to eBooks first really was that voracious reader, reading for entertainment, reading multiple books in a month across multiple genres. “ http://www.wired.com/underwire/2013/06/digital-publishing-genre-fiction/
While I find the idea of a “plain wrapper” e-book pretty silly, and I disagree that paperback novels have quite yet gone the way of the dodo (nor do I want them to), I thought the concepts about genre books and their user base of fast, frequent and, high quantity readers, espoused in the WIRED article, were quite interesting.
We may be Mystery Buffs, History Mavens, or Sci-Fi Fans, but many readers often repeatedly choose to enjoy the same type of book over and over. Reading not just for entertainment, but also for comfort, we like knowing what to expect from a book, perhaps not the individual plot, but in terms of the broad feel, style, setup or resolution of a story. As readers, we know what we like, and we know what we want, and that is often a story in a particular genre.
The majority of our library’s collection is broadly divided between “Fiction” and “Nonfiction”, but DPL does make use of genres to organize a substantial part of the collection. For instance, within Fiction, we have separate shelving for Romance Paperback, Inspirational Fiction, Mystery, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Western and Graphic Novel. The CamelliaNet catalog also allows readers to browse and filter results for digital material by genre.
Following is a list of some literary genres and sub-genres. Whether available in electronic or print format, we have books from all of these categories available at Decatur Public Library! What are you favorites? (Personally, in nonfiction, I love reading MEMOIRS, and in fiction I lean heavily toward Speculative Fiction and its various sub-genres.) If you are ready to branch out beyond old standbys, what piques your interest to try as something new? This is by no means a complete list of genres; can you think of others?
Space Opera Fiction in Verse
Hard Science Fiction Political Satire
Urban Fantasy Experimental Fiction
Urban Fiction Historical Romance
Amish Inspirational Pulp Fiction
Cyberpunk Family Saga
Steampunk Magical Realism
Travel Adventure Sword & Sorcery
Brit Lit Alternative History
Children’s Lit LGBT Lit
Dark Fantasy Humor
Literary Fiction Short Story Anthologies
Offbeat/Quirky Movie/Television Tie-In
Illustrated Picture Books
Police Procedural Mystery
A few nonfiction genre categories:
Photo Essay Biography
Memoir True Crime
Self Help Pop Culture
Travel Guides Playscripts
Poetry Crafts &/Hobbies
Sports / Leisure Narrative History
--Heather W. Ward, Reference Assistant