In the Scheme of Genres

Returning back to the front of books for today, genres are what’s presently on my mind. There are so many books out there; each of them are different in their own way by many means, and one of those aspects is that they each fall under a particular genre (or genres).

Genres are part of what helps a book tell a story, especially in regards to what kind of elements it contains in it. Perhaps it’s set in a world where both science and magic co-exist. Maybe the story takes place during a significant part of history, but made up with fictional characters. There are also cases where the story is on the development of the love between two people. Other times, a murder has happened and the mystery behind who did it and why needs to be solved. The possibilities are endless.

But at the same time, I can see how genres can serve as boundaries. There are people who go out of their way to read or deny to read a particular book, just because of what genre it falls under, and in my eyes, that’s where I see problems begin to arise.

This is, surprisingly to me, an issue I’ve seen pop up in several forms; such as the case of my mom who read only science fiction until she met my dad, and in my case now when I seek out potential book reviewers for my upcoming second novel, only to have to look somewhere else when I see their limited list of genres they will cover. Sometimes it’s with good reasoning, thinking that they will not be able to do as effective of a review than it may deserve. But other times, there may be no reason listed, and that may leave me wondering,”Why?”

Yes, it’s good to have preferences sometimes. That’s what helps you decide what you like, and there’s nothing wrong with that, for you have an establishment of tastes. But other times, it’s wisest to have an open mind. Imagine coming across a synopsis for a book that sounds really intriguing, but when you realize that it’s, say, a romance story, and you don’t normally read romances, then all of the sudden, it’s invalid. That’s when opening your mind to other genres becomes a wise possibility to consider.

How seemingly arrogant it may be to reference my own work, but in A Moment’s Worth (SPOILERS up ahead for those who, for some reason, still haven’t read it), there is a chapter where we come across a science fiction writer who makes it known that she has a book of fairytales as one of the many books she has in her private library. When she’s given a raised eyebrow over this by another character, she responds by saying: “Genres are what holds each story together and help it along, but in no way should it ever be treated as a boundary, especially for a reader. If I’ve only read science fiction books, I would probably consider myself mad.”

At the end of the day, it’s all about the story. To me, that matters more than genre. That’s why if you were ask what my favorite genre is, I wouldn’t know what to tell you, for I don’t have a favorite genre. If the story sounds intriguing, then that’s good enough for me. That’s why I’m a huge fan of both Haruki Murakami novels and Witi Ihimaera novels, despite their works being anything but similar. That’s why despite my notion of not wanting to be scared for the sake of being scared, I read a horror novel last month. That is why I’m able to go from reading a novelization of a space opera, to currently reading a book focused on a number of not-so-random characters in Hilo, Hawaii. Heck, that is why my second novel is going to be very different from my first novel.

Genres are helpful aspects of telling a story, but don’t see it as a boundary from reading works from differing genres. If you only limit to what you like, you’ll never get anywhere new.

A Moment’s Worth is now available through the following venues: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, iTunes. Please leave a review if you can, for my goal is to get a total of at least 20 reviews on all venues (so far, I’ve gotten 12 reviews so I’m already just past the halfway point to my goal). Check out its Goodreads page, which includes two trivia quizzes for all who’ve completed reading it already.

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