I used to want to read every book in existence. Every classic, every mystery, every spy thriller, every romance.
But that was before responsibility when I could spend all afternoon reading Nancy Drew without feeling guilty about not making supper for my children. (I’m still not good at making super but I do feel guilty about it.)
Now that reading time is more limited, I want to spend it on books and stories I have a higher probability of enjoying. I stay away from works that require deeper concentration because when reading in fits and starts it’s hard to keep track of everything. If I do choose to read something like that, it’s when I have a good chunk of time to invest. So I don’t avoid those altogether, I just need to have the right time and situation.
Some genres I will only read as a favor to another author. I might read the first in the series, but I wouldn’t continue it. These would be stories that contain anything with the occult, demons, fallen angels, vampires, devils, zombies, anything with thick ties to the underworld… you get the idea. Just typing that makes my skin bubble into goose flesh. I’ve mentioned that I get nightmares from looking at stills from Walking Dead. I had nightmares after reading Dracula. Twilight didn’t bother me too much, possibly because other things about the story bothered me more. I read The Screwtape Letters this winter and that was even a little much for me.
I tend not to read stories with magical creatures in them, but I don’t mind them as long I know they are going to appear. Something in the book blurb should mention fairies or gnomes. I don’t want to be surprised by them. One book I read had nothing in the cover art or blurb that half the characters were fairies. The story was cute, but I was confused for part of the story because I was not expecting them.
Do you like to be surprised by cross-genre elements in a story?