Jamie recently posted about realizing she’s not as well-rounded of a reader as she has thought and that got me thinking. What about me? I certainly feel like I am and, when asked, I definitely mention how I enjoy reading a wide range of genres, but does my reading truly reflect that?
To me, a well-rounded reader is someone who (obviously) reads an array of works covering multiple genres, eras, and authors. This is a reader who is just as knowledgeable of airplane reads as they are of Stuffy Classics (which aren’t so stuffy at all!) and have a recommendation for both at the ready.
Even the most avid of readers falls into a rut sometimes and I feel it’s perfectly natural to go through periods or phases where one particular genre takes over. But is there a time limit on these phases? What’s the end date, that final moment when it’s no longer just a binge and suddenly, I’m no longer seen as a reader of many genres, but one? Is there a time limit? Can someone still be considered well-read if they’ve solely read crime fiction the past three years?
I was curious to see how my reading stacked up.
image via goodreads
Clearly excluding my 2014 Reads shelf, the shelves with the most mentions this year have been for books set in America, Standalones, and Contemporary novels. Let’s take a further look.
Out of the 56 books I’ve read so far this year:
17 have been NA/YA/MG
23 have been Adult
1 was a Manga
15 were Graphic Novels (broken down into 2 series)
Breaking it down further (note: I lumped those Graphic Novel volumes into one count for each series and this is hardly accurate, fairly sloppy, and one book might fall under multiple categories)
Out of those 56 books:
23 were set in America
1 was set in Australia
1 was set in Germany
4 were set in France
9 were set in the UK, mainly England
2 were set in the Middle East
6 were set in Other Worlds/Space/Fantasy Kingdoms
I’d like to say I’ve traveled the globe, but it’s clear I stuck to my own turf so far this year.
23 were Contemporary
3 were Horror
10 were Historical Fiction
12 fell under an all-encompassing Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Paranormal/Magical Realism umbrella
8 were Mystery/Thriller
1 was Dystopian
1 was Non-Fiction
I know what I like and I stick with that it seems.
I was incredibly disappointed to discover only 3 books were LBGT and had POC characters, respectively.
So what does this mean? Am I wrong in saying I’m well-read? Can I still think of myself as a well-read reader when I only read a single non-fiction title scattered among numerous American contemporaries? I don’t even want to think about my pitiful results as far as diversity in authors.