My favorite book genres and moods

I read frequently — though not voraciously these days. About a book a week. Sometimes just two books a month. Not a crazy amount, but way more than the average American, I suppose.

I like to keep a record of what my interests are and what I do (part of why I have stuck with blogging) and I use an app called “StoryGraph” to track what I read, which I like better than Goodreads as it gives you these cool stats and pretty graphs. I apologize for not posting the graphs here. I’m feeling lazy today.

I recently looked at the graph of the average rankings I given the books I read (3.66/5 stars) and was delighted to see it was broken down by both genres and moods. I found the genre ranking very surprising and it’s a bit skewed because I had given one or two books of that genre very high rankings.

Here are the books I read most frequently.

  1. Classics
  2. Literary
  3. Historical Fiction
  4. Contemporary
  5. Science Fiction
  6. Romance
  7. Mystery
  8. Dystopian
  9. Thriller
  10. Fantasy

(There are 25 other genres I’ve read so I won’t list them all here, but the frequency in which I read Poetry, Comics, True Crime, Essays, and Middle-grade books are very low but I do occasionally read them).

Compare that to my genre ranking:

  1. Children’s 5.0 (for Alice in Wonderland)
  2. Comics 4.75 (For Hyperbole and a Half)
  3. Essays 4.75 (For Solutions and Other Problems)
  4. History 4.38 (for 21 Lessons for the 21st Century and Sapiens)
  5. Science 4.38 (same as above)
  6. Literary 4.19 (there are several as this is my second most read genre mostly to see what others think is good)
  7. Biography 4.13 (for Finding Me, and Solutions and other Problems)
  8. Dystopian 4.13 (there are several and I like this because it’s thought-provoking)
  9. Horror 4.08 (there are several that are very engrossing)
  10. Young Adult 4.08 (several that I like because they are easy to read)

This leads me to believe that if I am to get more pleasure out of reading perhaps I should start to read more of the genres that I rank highly. See my post about Why I Read. It’s not usually for pleasure.

So maybe fewer Classics (for now, though I think they are important to read), Historical Fiction, and Contemporary. I don’t think I’d like a lot of Children’s or Comics but you never know.

Definitely going to try to incorporate more non-fiction like History, Science, and Biographies. I notice when I read Dystopian, Horror, or Young Adult I fly through them. Probably the novels that I most enjoy.

Now for ranking by moods:

  1. Light-hearted 4.13
  2. Mysterious 3.88
  3. Dark 3.86
  4. Adventurous 3.8
  5. Tense 3.78
  6. Emotional 3.77
  7. Sad 3.75
  8. Funny 3.56
  9. Reflective 3.52
  10. Challenging 3.19
  11. Informative 3.0
  12. Hopeful 2.75
  13. Inspiring 2.75

Ha! I don’t like books that are hopeful or inspiring. That’s funny. It might be the skeptic in me.

What’s surprising to me is that I like lighthearted books so much because I rarely read them. Again, maybe a change I can make to make reading more pleasurable.

Though how do lighthearted books coincide with Dystopian and Horror? Are there lighthearted Dystopian and Horror novels? I doubt it. Though I did read “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” which I suppose was Horror, it was also hilarious.

What other stats can I include here?

My Most Read Authors (this is only the last two years): Margaret Atwood, John Steinbeck, Kazuo Ishiguro, Paulo Coehlo, Yuval Noah Harari, Collen Hoover, Jane Austen, and J.D. Salinger.

StoryGraph tells me that I mainly read “fiction books that are reflective, emotional, and dark” and typically chose medium-paced books that are 300-499 pages long.

What kind of books do you read? And which genres and moods do you like?

4 thoughts on “My favorite book genres and moods

  1. I read all kinds of books, too. I love going to the library without an idea of what to get because I usually come home with something surprising. This time it’s a story collection by James Patterson. This is a new book of stories from his life. I’ve never read anything by him before, was just intrigued by the idea of these stories. They’re good, too. The last book I finished reading is Where the Crawdads Sing. I can’t remember if you’ve mentioned that one before. Seems everyone’s read (and loved) it. I thought it was okay. I laughed when I read what you said about books that are hopeful or inspiring. It makes me think about what draws me to a particular book. I started reading a couple by John Updike after learning that Ann Patchett really likes him and thinks everyone should read the rabbit books. (Rabbit, Run is the first one and I’m reading that now, too.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Actually, I misspoke about reading two of Updike’s books. I am reading a biography of him. The title is Updike. So, if I had worded that sentence differently, there would be no need to clarify. “I started reading a couple of Updike books…” would have been 100% accurate. lol

      Liked by 1 person

    2. That’s a cool idea to show up at the library and just see what you are drawn to! I do that at times but often I’m looking for a specific book. I have read Where the Crawdad’s Sing and did think it was good but not the best book ever. Did you see the movie?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. When I finished reading the crawdad book I wanted to know who else failed to swoon over it like so many people have done. It wasn’t that great, right? And no, I haven’t seen the movie. Am content to wait until the opportunity to see it for free arises, and even then it might not be a priority. Did you see it?

        Liked by 1 person

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About Quixie

Hi! I go by "Quixie." Quixie is a shortened version of "quixotic," which means: "exceedingly idealistic; unrealistic and impractical." It's how I described my evangelical Christian faith when I started blogging 7 years ago. Now I'm an agnostic atheist who is trying to find a balance between idealism and reality. I write about my mental health journey with bipolar disorder, my loss of faith (deconversion), parenting teens, reading, exercise/health, work-life, and my marriage separation/divorce.