Do you get genre burn-out?

Posted 27 November, 2012 | Mary @ TheBookSwarm | | 39 Comments

Do you ever read so many books in one particular genre that you get burned out and can’t bear to pick up even one more of that type of book for, well, for quite a long while? 

I most definitely do. It can be a big problem. One that’s only solved by a good cleansing of the palate. 

Way back in high school, my friend Kristen and I would devour historical romance novels like they were going out of style. Working in a library throughout high school was definitely helpful and kept me supplied with as much romance as I could stuff in my greedy little face. This kept on for many years (though it did slow down in college — too much to do, there’s less time for pleasure reading) until the day I walked into the romance section and realized I’d had enough. All the plots…the same. All the covers…well, you’ve seen one heaving bosom peeking out of a ripped, ruffled gown and a hot, muscular guy drooling over it, you’ve seen them all. (Or so it seemed.)

So, I switched. Chick lit was up to bat for a while then travel memoirs then urban fantasy then young adult everything. All great. Very enjoyable until they all blended together.

When I started this blog two and a half years ago, I focused on the young adult category. I’d discovered the fabulosity that was and is YA and wanted to share it with the world. I read a ridiculous amount of books.

But I burned myself out on YA Contemporaries, YA vampire novels, YA insta-loves and love triangles…seems I’m burning through genres pretty darned fast. Of course, there are books that seriously stand out — no matter how burned out I might feel, I’m still intrigued enough to pick up the story and enjoy it.

I need palate cleansers — books that are far beyond the genres I usually read. Memoirs, travelogues, mysteries, and adult contemporaries seem to work best. 

The only genre I haven’t burned myself out on at one point or another is urban fantasy. (Please don’t let me burn out on UF anytime soon. I love it so.)

Here’s my question to you all: Do you get genre burn-out? What do you do about it?

About Mary @ TheBookSwarm

39 Responses to “Do you get genre burn-out?”

  1. I do! I guess that’s why I’m such an eclectic reader, like you. If I’m feeling like everything I have been reading is the same ol’ thing I grab something totally outside my regular genres. I recently read a HF that is kind of along the lines of a Western (though it ended up being a lot about slavery later on so had more substance) and it was SO different from anything I have been reading it really was like a palate cleanse. It also ended up being one of the best books I have read this year. (My review goes up Thursday.)
    Usually I turn to funny contemporary though. Or chick lit, which I usually say isn’t my thing. I di love the Shopaholic books (for example).

  2. Oh yes totally!!!!! I cam also read one and the same genre and then get tired! Years ago I only read Historical Romance, one after the other, then I had a Phase where I only read Mysteries, then YA parnormal, then YA contemporary …
    I just go with the flow, with whatever my mood tells me to read. When I’m tired of paranormal, then I switch to Contem until I’m burned out again and switch to something else.

  3. I do get genre burn-out but it sounds like yours is much more intense. For example, I also love historical romances-I’ll read a bunch in a row and then no more until a few months later when it repeats. In general though I’m pretty good about mixing up my genres as I read (I just finished a YA contemporary thriller and next up is a YA psychological thriller and YA paranormal/fantasy/dystopia-not sure which then I’m reading a historical romance).

    Fingers crossed that your UF love continues for a very long time!

  4. +JMJ+

    Your Romance burnout sounds exactly the same as mine was! While there are still a few favourite authors whose new books I’d read, I really don’t care for the genre as a whole any longer. And I say that I would check out those “favourite” authors’ books but not that I will, because while I wouldn’t kick them out of my library entirely, neither do I seek them out.

    Ironically, I got into Romance after years of reading only Classics and snooty Literary Fiction, thanks to a Romance novella that was a great “palate cleanser” at the time! =P Well, I guess I ended up cleansing my palate so many times that now it no longer has a taste for Romance! =(

    • I still have a few fave authors in that genre and, as I’m slowing returning to the genre, I’m finding a couple more. And yay for novellas that steered you towards a whole new genre!

  5. In high school, I read strictly romantic suspense, contemp romance, and to a lesser extent, historical romances. The first two I’m still a little burnt out on, and I honestly think it’s why I stopped reading for a while in college. Discovering the paranormal world (and then getting into YA) has really helped return my love for reading. And now–even though I occasionally binge on genres–I try to read many different genres so I never really get burnt out again. Because it’s no fun.

  6. Oh yes. This definitely happens to me Mary! I get on genre kicks too – where all I want to read is one specific genre and I’m just not in the mood for anything else. This just happened to me with historical romance. Couldn’t get enough of it. Now I’m on to military romantic suspense. Win. I never totally burn out on any genre, I just like to take breaks until I’m back in the mood for them once again, usually it’s just a couple weeks:)

  7. I definitely get genre burn-out. It happens pretty frequently, actually. I’ll read a ton of books in one genre, get sick of it, and move on to the next genre. The nice thing is that after I’ve had a break from one genre, I always enjoy going back to it. A little break is all I need to recharge my love for a certain genre.

  8. I do all the time as well! I basically eat YA paranormal/ dystopians, but once in a while I have to take a break with YA contemp (in fact, I’e actually been on a contemp kick for about 3 weeks now- which isn’t good when you have a pile of paranormal to review 😉 ).

  9. I don’t get burned out of genres for long periods of time, but I definitely do get burnt out. Usually I’ll just switch from paranormal to contemp for a few books (or vice versa) and then be ready to go back to paranormal. Paranormal is especially easy to burn out on because after awhile they all feel the same.

  10. Oh, for goodness YES.

    I always always get burned out on genres which is why my blog is sometimes all over the place as far as genre/niche-ing goes. I have to have palatte cleansers and I have to have them frequently. I guess I didn’t get burn out a lot as a kid and a teen because I read a variety of books,like I would read a fantasy one day then some Russian classic the next, like a total weirdo.

    Anyways, yeah I get it lately because I read a TON of the same thing (YA), but I didn’t always get it. Not sure how much sense that makes, but I love this post and seeing that other people get genre burn out too.

  11. I don’t usually burn out on genres, because I never read a lot of one type at a time. But there were a few times when a had a number of dystopian novels to read for review and I found myself getting annoyed with it after a while. I had to switch it up and read a contemporary or two to cleanse my palette. Great post!

    Jesse @ Pretty In Fiction

  12. I definitely do get genre burn out, but usually not very long term. I think that’s why I like YA so much, because it’s made up of all the different genres, and I do read pretty widely within YA. When I need a break from YA I tend to go to paranormal romance or urban fantasy type titles. Within YA I need to be in the right mood to read a certain type of book. I can read contemps almost always, but for historical or fantasy (especially epic fantasy) I need to really feel like reading them.

    • The YA category is fabulous because of all the variety. But I’m a tad overwhelmed by it at the moment. I think that’s why I’ve been gobbling down UF lately.

  13. I totes do, and at that point all I can do is read something that’s completely different or an old favorite.

    Back when i started to read romance, I would find an author and read all their books one after the other – which is a really bad idea – and get burnt out on an author too, now I try to have more equilibrium with what I read, but genre burn out still happens.

    I try to read one YA and one historical and one contemporary romance and keep them rotating, if it doesn’t work I go out of my comfort zone into paranormal sometimes or none fiction (I love reading physics books)and if all else fails I re-read harry potter.

  14. I can get burned out on genres for sure. Because of this I always try to mix up what I’m reading and I try to have lots of different genres available to me so I don’t get bored. I normally don’t let it go on for as long as you! I definitely couldn’t read all dystopians or all contemporary novels for years on end. 😛

  15. So I wanted to wait to answer this to make sure that I wasn’t the only one but YES, YES, YES! I do seem to be a moody reader anyway but there have been times when a genre that I LOVE suddenly becomes the bane of my existence. I hate it but there have been times when I have cringed at the thought of reading some of my favorite genres.

  16. Saw you on Felicity’s blog 😀

    I would totally go genre burnout but my eclectic taste saves me. I could not just read one genre for weeks and weeks, so I mix, fantasy, UF, PNR, HR, fiction, contemporary romance 🙂 And I like them all