Can you read multiple books of the same genre back-to-back?

You might have noticed reading this blog that my reading tastes are somewhat eclectic. I swing from general fiction, to historical, crime, YA, romance, nonfiction, memoir and then throw in a book about cars for good measure. I’d love to be able to be one of those people who adore one genre and as a result, are amazingly knowledgeable about it. Me, I read a bit of everything. It’s like taking one bite from everything at a buffet. Like many readers, I want to read (nearly) all of the books.

Could you read all of these back to back?

One thing I’ve noticed that I just can’t do is read too many books of the same genre in a row. I just can’t. I think my record is something like five romance themed books and maybe about eight historical fiction (not sure if that counts because they were all part of the same series). My brain starts to get fogged with who the love interests are, whose sister does what and characters begin to cross. It’s the same when I’m reading books of different genres set in the same place – I get the characters mixed up.

Looking at my reading list of late, it’s all higgledy-piggledy when it comes to genres:

  • General fiction
  • Romantic comedy
  • YA
  • Non-fiction
  • Domestic noir
  • Domestic noir
  • Memoir
  • Romance
  • General fiction
  • Short story
  • Romance
  • Memoir
  • YA
  • Literary fiction
  • Literary fiction

In fact, if I’m not sure to read next, I go looking for books that are the complete opposite to what I’ve just read. Not only does this help to narrow down my choices, but it ensures that the next bookish trip I take is going to be completely different. For example, I just finished a historical fiction book set in the tropics based on real people. Therefore, in my next book I’m looking for it’s going to be modern and completely fictional (actually it turned out to be an Australian set rural fiction with a science lean). I generally choose a different author too, even if the sequel is only an arm stretch away.

Does anyone else do this? How do you choose your next read?

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5 thoughts on “Can you read multiple books of the same genre back-to-back?

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  1. I can read the same genre (I usually tend to) but not the same author back to back (unless it’s Terry Pratchett or Bill Bryson). If I do the latter, I tend to find the style too same-y across all the different books and that will bore me

  2. I too intentionally choose a book different to the one that I’ve just finished reading — different author + genre — even if I have the sequel ready to go on the shelf in front of me! When I have a paperback and ebook on the go in parallel, they will be different genre also. Variety is the spice of life and means I rarely get in a reading rut.

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