Wednesday, March 3, 2021

IWSG: Omnivorous Reading

Welcome to the first Wednesday of the month. You know what that means! It's time to let our insecurities hang out. Yep, it's the Insecure Writer's Support Group blog hop. If you're a writer at any stage of career, I highly recommend this blog hop as a way to connect with other writers for support, sympathy, ideas, and networking.

If you're a reader, it's a great way to peek behind the curtain of a writing life.

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

March 3 question - Everyone has a favorite genre or genres to write. But what about your reading preferences? Do you read widely or only within the genre(s) you create stories for? What motivates your reading choice?

The awesome co-hosts for the March 3 posting of the IWSG are Sarah - The Faux Fountain Pen Jacqui Murray, Chemist Ken, Victoria Marie Lees, Natalie Aguirre, and JQ Rose! Be sure to check out what they have to say, and visit other writers in the blog hop!

I'm an omnivore when it comes to reading: I'll read anything :-). 

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I'll give most types of books a chance and I often really enjoy myself when I read something outside of my usual genre choices. I'll pick up a book for a variety of reasons: 
  • past good experience with that author
  • never heard of the author before and am curious about their work
  • cover caught my eye
  • a friend recommended it
  • a friend wrote it
  • my daughter read it and wanted me to read it, too
  • I said I would (book clubs, review requests, supporting colleagues)
  • I've heard a lot of about it (buzz)
  • I think I should have read it 
  • it was short when I wasn't in the mood for something long
  • I've read something similar and liked it
  • I've not read anything like it before
  • it seemed like it would fit my mood
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To write this post, I went through my 2020 Reading Challenge on Goodreads, trying to get a list of my preferred genres together and I realized I have a taste for books that cross categories and genres. 

Lots of the things I read in 2020 should have two or three word mashup genre classifications like horror-mystery-science fiction or romance-mystery-fantasy. 

I definitely lean more heavily towards speculative fiction (by which I mean: fiction that includes a "speculative" element, something non-realistic like magic, monsters, superheroes, ghosts, future technology, etc.). That includes those uber-broad categories like "science fiction" and "fantasy."  

But I also read nonfiction, historical fiction, literary fiction, realistic fiction, poetry, mystery, romance, humor, pulp, classics, and things I don't know how to classify. 

I read in genres I have written in, but also in genres I'm not that interested in writing in myself. 

I generally set a goal of 52 books a year, or one a week, but I usually end up reading more than that. And you know what? I wish I could read more. Reading is one the great joys of my life, and I love finding work that surprises, amazes, inspires, frightens, or awes me. 

How about you? What do you tend to read? Why? I'd love to hear from you in the comments!


  1. I wish I could read more than I do too, although I'm always reading. And I like to read in a wide variety of genres and am loving stories that mash up genres like you.

  2. Hi Samantha, I'm a newbie at IWSG and writing in general. I'm Sarah, I'm in the UK and my blog is (no.158 on the IWSG blog hop list). The motivation behind my reading choices is similar to yours, recommendations is a big one. And I'm so impressed that you read 52 books a year! I struggle to keep up with my monthly book club. Burial Rites by Hannah Kent is up next.

    1. I've read that one! Dark, intense, and wonderful. I hope you love it.

  3. A lot of your reasons for picking up a book are my reasons, too. It's always nice when I come across a story that amazes and inspires me. I love that feeling.

  4. This is one of the more thorough discussions of this topic I've read today. An omnivorous reader--being omnivores is widely credit with man's survival. I like the juxtaposition of those two.

  5. I love reading too. It is one of the great joys in life. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  6. An omnivore when it comes to reading--I love that! I feel the same way--I'll read pretty much anything.

  7. It's always fun when your kids give you recommendations and vice versa. I also read a lot outside of my genre, and I'm certainly motivated by what I'm in the mood for.

  8. Your comment about it fit your mood resonated with me. I think that is actually how I pick what I read. I want it to be 'comfortable' and fit my mood. Thanks

  9. Love your list! It pretty much fits my way of choosing books. I will say that when I find an author I like, I tend a bunch of their books in a row, which is always a bonus when I find a prolific author!

  10. The joy of reading oozes off the page here. What a bookworm you are. And Congratulations! So happy to know you. Not many folks devour that many books in a year and say they read more than that. Your blog post made my heart happy. Thanks for sharing your list with us. The reasons all make sense to me.

  11. I love the title of your blog and your list is similar to how I choose books. I'd love to be able to read more and 52 a year is impressive target. I wish you the very best in succeeding your goal.

  12. You wrote: Reading is one the great joys of my life, and I love finding work that surprises, amazes, inspires, frightens, or awes me. I do, too, except for frightening works. I don't ride roller coasters, either. :)

  13. Reading is one of my joys in life too, Samantha. I never thought to look at my Goodreads challenge to remember the types of books I've read. I love mystery and suspense, but I'll read anything with a great plot and characters. Except horror! All best to you!