Genre fatigue – It’s a ‘thing’

Anyone who knows me and has been following this blog for a while KNOWS I love thrillers.  I do, I really do.

But… lately I’ve become weary of them. GASP! GULP!  That is not to say that I no longer want to read any thrillers, there are many of them in my upcoming TBR.  It is just that, if I didn’t have a long queue of books that I’ve committed to reviewing, I probably wouldn’t choose a thriller as my next read.

I still LOVE thrillers, but lately I’ve found that I have to insert other genres between the thriller titles in order to keep my enjoyment of them at its optimum. I liken it to eating chocolate at EVERY meal, making chocolate not as special or enjoyable as it once was.

Has this horrible malady of ‘genre fatigue‘ ever affected you?  Let me know.  It would be nice to hear that I’m not alone…

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About Fictionophile

Fiction reviewer ; Goodreads librarian. Retired library cataloger - more time to read! Loves books, gardening, and red wine. I have been a reviewer member of NetGalley since October 2013. I review titles offered by Edelweiss, and participate in blog tours with TLC Book Tours.
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79 Responses to Genre fatigue – It’s a ‘thing’

  1. bibliobeth says:

    I know EXACTLY what you mean! I used to read almost exclusively crime/thrillers and then I started to feel everything was getting a bit “samey” so I branched out a little bit in the genres I read. I still love a good thriller but it has to be something a bit special or more interesting plot to get me hooked again. 😃

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    • Fictionophile says:

      I guess reading, like all other things in life, is a growth process. Readers become more discerning over time – and more cognizant of their time spent reading. I really appreciate your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I can relate to this. I tend to read a lot of classics and literary fiction, but sometimes you just want something light, so to mix it up I will go for comfort reads like children’s books even, or biography and memoirs. Love those! I have to admit I don’t read thrillers, I’m one of those people that are easily scared, and can’t handle gore 🙂 I admit I’m in the minority as I know they’re very popular.

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  3. luvtoread says:

    For sure! I try to change things around and I rarely read two books in a row of the same genre. I’m also usually reading more than one book at a time (one personal choice & one that I have from NetGalley or the author for review), and I try to not read the same genre at the same time.
    I also really dislike reading two books in a row by the same author. I find myself recognizing phrases they use a lot and am able to guess the plot more as well.
    It’s sometimes tough, because I may want to read a mystery or historical fiction, but if I have just read one I try to read something different so the genre feels “fresh” when I get to it. It’s also hard because I have a tendency to request a lot of historical fiction for review, and I get burned out on that genre fairly quickly (especially if they are WWII related).

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    • Fictionophile says:

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on genre fatigue. I envy you your ability to read more than one book at one time. That is something that I’ve never felt able to do. I feel about serial killer novels the same way you sometimes feel about WWII fiction. I often wonder what the ratio of ‘real’ serial killers is to fictional ones. It seems that serial murderers are over used as a plot device in my opinion.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Absolutely. I try to mix it up, so that I’m not reading the same genre too many books in a row. I actually, try my best to alternate between fiction and non-fiction too. Or if I’ve just read something really heavy, I will balance it by reading a humor novel after. I just can’t do too much of the same thing in a row, I get burned out.

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    • Fictionophile says:

      Thanks Karen. After all these wonderful comments I’m starting to realize that you CAN get burned out even with something as pleasurable as reading. (By the way, I LOVE your ABOUT photo on your blog!)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Susie | Novel Visits says:

    I read several different genres, so if I’m not feeling like one, I move to another. I try too not schedule more then 2-3 of the same genre in a month.

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  6. sahmoun2778 says:

    I totally get how you feel. Sometimes I have to go with something completely different to sort of “cleanse” my brain of the thrillers.

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  7. HCNewton says:

    Oh, absolutely. Sometimes it even gets pretty specific – ugh, another dystopian/urban fantasy hybrid? Etc. Usually what brakes the fatigue is either a nice break for a couple of weeks – or one in that genre that’s far above average.

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  8. carhicks says:

    I have to mix up my genres or I do get fatigued. I will read a couple of thrillers then will switch to a romance or perhaps a cozy mystery. Mix it up with a drama or family story then throw in a couple of kids books and I am good to go. If I read too much of anything in a row, I tune out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fictionophile says:

      Thanks for your supportive comments Carla. I guess to remain unbiased and fair to the authors, we readers must adhere to a varied TBR menu.

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  9. FictionFan says:

    I’ve stopped reading so many contemporary thrillers over the last year – too many that are just like whatever the last big hit was. I know there are still plenty of good ones out there, but I got fed up searching for them! Now I just read the odd one by writers I already love, and have kinda filled in the space with some of the classic crime re-releases that have been coming out. As they say – a change is as good as a rest!

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  10. mudandstars says:

    Definitely! I’m experiencing it with thrillers at the moment too. I read so many of them, that they have all started to get a bit samey, and no longer seem to shock or surprise me. I still love them, but I feel like I need to take a little break from them.

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  11. crimeworm says:

    Last week I was like this – fed up with crime. I read The Trouble With Sheep And Goats and I feel better for it (although a crime does feature in this book, it’s amusing and lighter and very very funny. It was just the ticket.) I don’t “do” romance or chick-lit, so I tend to head for historical fiction when I want a break. But it’d be good to have other options too. Maybe I need to start reading some nonfiction again too! What have you broken your genre fatigue with?

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    • Fictionophile says:

      Thanks for your comment Linda. A steady diet of thrillers was once interrupted with the charming little book “A man called Ove”. Another episode of genre fatigue was cured with “The storied life of A.J. Firky”. These novels remain two of my favorites. Perhaps my love of them was directly influenced by my ‘genre fatigue’ of thrillers.

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  12. Totally agree. I love thrillers and crime novels but have to mix it up with other genre to keep it fresh.

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  13. Thoroughly agree! Was feeling the same.
    Really felt like reading a light-hearted chick lit lit recently

    Caryl x

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    • Fictionophile says:

      Thanks for your supportive comment Caryl. I’ve found that mixing up genres has cured many of my ‘reading slumps’.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks to your post, I’m going to make a conscious effort to mix genres. I used to, but lately with the market saturation of such tempting crime thriller titles, that seems to be all I read these days. 😮

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      • Fictionophile says:

        I appreciate your comment and agree that the market seems to be heavy with crime thrillers lately. Everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon of “Gone girl” and “Girl on the train” I guess. As a reader/reviewer I feel that I do a much better job of it when I alternate genres.

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  14. madbooklove says:

    You are definitely not alone. I’m seriously burnt out on cozies right now (I wasn’t a huge fan, but there are definitely a few series I typically really enjoy), and I’m having a hard time getting into any YA Fantasy…which is usually one of my favorites. Sometimes it’s hard for me to tell if it’s really that I’m burnt out on the genre, or if I keep picking up mediocre stuff. Chicken or the egg, right?

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    • Fictionophile says:

      Keeping it fresh seems to be the answer to my problem. I agree that reading too many of the same genre can influence a reader’s enjoyment of the novel as well as her/his ability to review the novel fairly. Thanks for your comment.

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  15. sheldonk2014 says:

    It’s so easy to fell into a false habit
    It happens to me with my writing
    And my art
    Great post

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  16. Martie says:

    I love that term “genre fatigue”. I knew what you meant and it made me laugh.

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  17. I like to mix my genres up a bit more these days. As crime thrillers are also getting darker I need a bit of fun inbetween. I find I’m also leaning towards the more quirky reads as a matter of course as well, simply because they are not so easy to pigeon hole or guess at.

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    • Fictionophile says:

      Thanks Jill. I totally agree with you about the ‘quirky’ reads. After reading many thrillers in a row, I remember how much I relished reading “A man called Ove” by Fredrik Backman. It was just the tonic I needed, and it remains one of my favourite titles to this day.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I know what you mean. I like to vary my reads as much as I can so that this doesn’t happen often. x

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    • Fictionophile says:

      Thanks Kerry. Your comment, and those of other readers/bloggers has led me to believe that genre fatigue is an issue with many readers and book bloggers. It is comforting to know that I am not alone.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Annie says:

    I agree so much with you…. this is exactly how ive felt with psychological thrillers and I haven’t chosen any for my next reads (except if I already had it scheduled)

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  20. I am also suffering a bit of “genre fatigue”! I love fantasy and it is usually my go to. But lately I find myself craving almost anything but 🙂 Sometimes change is refreshing!

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  21. anniedaylon2013 says:

    I am a busy writer of fiction. I am an avid reader of fiction. Right now I am taking a break from the latter. Why? Because I tend to analyse every piece of fiction I read. (Goes with the territory, I guess.) I am currently reading memoirs: Barbara Walters, Gloria Steinam, Mike Myers, Martin Short, Eleanor Roosevelt… on and on it goes. I’m loving these vehicles into the past. A great vacation for me. 🙂

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  22. Cathy says:

    You’re not alone 😉 lately I’ve found myself having a complete change of pace with books I don’t normally read (or listen to) It’s worked!

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  23. LairOfBooks says:

    ABSOLUTELY! I’m actually working on a discussion post on this very subject after binge reading a slew of YA Fantasy for the very same reason you stated—– “if I didn’t have a long queue of books that I’ve committed to reviewing, I probably wouldn’t choose a thriller as my next read.” truth is you do experience genre burn-out as I call it lol. I LOVE Fantasy but I’m in desperate need of a break…Great post! 😉

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  24. rachel says:

    You are definitely not alone! I adore thrillers, but there is an undeniable formula to them, so I start to get bored when I read too many in a row. I definitely like to mix it up.

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  25. I get it sometimes… I try to mix up my to read pile to prevent it, especially fiction fatigue!

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    • Fictionophile says:

      Fiction fatigue is something I could never suffer from (at least not publicly as the name of my blog is Fictionophile LOL). Thanks for commenting.

      Like

  26. I’ve felt this lately as well. I’m trying to balance out my reading with multiple genres now, even if it means falling behind on some reviews. Glad you posted this as I think a number of us struggle here!

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    • Fictionophile says:

      Thanks for commenting Chelsea. I’m beginning to realize that most book bloggers share my malady of ‘genre fatigue’. I’m going to try to mix it up more in the near future.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Tina Woodbury says:

    I hear you! I have to mix up my genres or else I’ll go mad. I love mystery/thrillers but for me they can start to bleed together if I don’t mix it up. I look forward to seeing what you read.

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  28. Carlissa says:

    I often have “genre fatique” if I read too many books of one genre in a row. Fortunately, I’m an eclectic reader, so when boredom sets in, I know its time to shake up the reading mix a little bit.

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    • Fictionophile says:

      Thanks Carlissa. Sounds like you have a healthy attitude and practice. Now… if only I can follow your example.

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  29. skyecaitlin says:

    Good term, Lynne: “genre fatigue’ hit me a few years ago when all the mysteries, police procedurals and thrillers began to sound alike and follow a set pattern with ‘set detectives and partners and serial killers. At that point, I resumed reading contemporary novels, and I mix and shake them up. I do love cozy mysteries every now and again, but I’m particular about certain authors. I love novels such as sagas, historical fiction about the Tudor period, and recently, I’ve been revisiting favorite gothic/romance/suspense writers such as Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart and Jean Plaidy. I also love a good ghost story and political espionage books. This keeps me on my toes and every now and again, I’ll grab something from the Canon ( the original Canon).

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    • Fictionophile says:

      Thanks Skye. Just as with food intake, reading intake should come with a cautionary label “Everything in moderation“.

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  30. You’re not alone! I read thriller after thriller a couple of months ago and they just all started to blur together!

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    • Fictionophile says:

      I totally agree. This makes me wonder if ‘genre fatigue’ is more common with thriller readers than with other genres because of the similarity of some of the plots. But romance fiction shares many similarities as well, so perhaps it is a multi-genre issue?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I struggle with romantic fiction genre fatigue as well. Not that I read a great deal, but when I do read a couple I then don’t read anymore for a while! I think it crosses the genres – they all have their similarities.

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      • Fictionophile says:

        Yes Emma I think this is an issue that affects many genres other than crime thrillers. It is fascinating that readers can get ‘burnt out’ even though they enjoy reading immensely. Thanks for your comment.

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  31. Tabby says:

    I get that way with YA romance/contemporary books. Sometimes I have to switch it up with science fiction or fantasy. Other times I just get sick of fiction in general and need to read some nonfiction. You’re not alone! 🙂

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  32. I do believe this is a thing. I don’t get tired of reading fantasy often because the magic systems or things can be really different, but I’ve noticed that sometimes I will become more annoyed or judge them harsher if I read too many in a row. So, I try to take breaks once in a while and read other genres.
    This is a good thing anyhow, I think, because it helps me find different types of books and possible recommend them to different types of people.

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  33. Steph says:

    I’m the same. I try and read something different in between but don’t always manage it.

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    • Fictionophile says:

      Yes Steph. I try to alternate between thrillers, historical fiction, women’s fiction, and mysteries. However… due to the fact that I do LOVE thrillers, I have requested them more often and therefore have more of them for review. This means that I often read several of them in a row due to sheer number.

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  34. Allie P. says:

    I find that I start getting tired with a genre about every three books or so and have to mix it up otherwise the storylines start blurring together and no author’s work deserves that.

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    • Fictionophile says:

      True. Reading too many of one particular genre causes the reader’s palette to become desensitized. Authors deserve readers that come to their work unjaded and unbiased.

      Like

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