There are two types of bookworms: those who read anything and everything, and those who prefer a very specific type of genre, and who will read anything and everything they can find within that subset or niche.
Though I am decidedly a “wide reader” and enjoy books from a variety of genres, there are perks of being a niche reader as well. Today, we’re diving into the Pros and Cons of both Reading Wide and Nice Reading.
Being a bookworm who enjoys a variety of different genres has, in my experience, tons of benefits, including:
- Gaining a well-rounded education on a plethora of subjects (aka being a boss at Jeopardy)
- Gaining empathy for a diverse set of situations/social issues
- Reading accounts from numerous POVs and deciding what to believe yourself instead of allowing the media to decide for you
- Infinitely more options in case you’re tired of a certain genre or trope
Though… I’ll admit, there are some aggravating side-effects of reading wide:
- Impulsive mood reading: aka starting books in several different genres based on your mood at the time, and feeling as if you’re never finishing anything
- Watching a movie that’s one genre, and wanting to read a book like that, only you’re in the middle of a non-fiction book about a completely different subject and want to finish it first
- An overwhelming TBR
- Sometimes experiencing information overload or conflicting beliefs after reading different perspectives
Though I am a self-proclaimed wide reader, as an author, I can also see the perks of being a niche reader, one who solely reads one, specific genre of books:
- When writing in this specific genre, reading other books within that genre allows writers to study the norms and traits of the genre and write to market, if that’s their goal
- If you LOVE a certain trope (i.e. best friends to lovers, enemies to lovers, etc.), it can satisfy your constant cravings
- If you write or review books in this genre, you can become an expert of and/or influencer for the genre
- Since the covers will most likely be uniform according to market standards, your bookshelf will look aesthetically pleasing ❤
But, then again, there’s:
- Burnout from reading the same genre-specific material over and over
- Limited reading options, especially if the books you’re searching for are for a very specific trope
- Risk of viewing the world through this narrow POV (note: I’m not saying all niche readers are narrow-minded. That’s just the risk involved with holding one genre to such a high standard).
- If you’re a writer, it can be difficult to branch out and write something outside this one genre, because you’re not familiar with other genre-specific qualities
Honestly, though I’m a wide-reader now, I was close to being a nice reader when I first fell back in love with reading in 11th grade. Back then, I read mostly YA and clean adult romance, rarely edging into other genres. When I got a Goodreads account after graduating high school, I believe this is when I became more of a wide-reader. Seeing massive amounts of options and intriguing blurbs helped open my mind to what genres outside of romance could offer.
Is it bad to be one or the other? Not at all. As you can see, both have their good and bad points, and neither one is better than the other. The best thing about both is that, at the end of the day, we’re still readers. In a world that seems to be diminishing the importance of reading, the fact that we can call ourselves that is a blessing, whether we read all the books, or that one category that holds a special place in our hearts. ❤
Talk to Me, Arrowheads!
Are you a wide-reader, or a niche reader? Share your own pros and cons in the comments below!
Aim high, stay strong, and always hit your mark.
2 thoughts on “Reading Wide V.s. Niche Reading”
I am a wide reader. As a writer, I actually prefer to NOT read within my genre while writing in that genre because I want to keep authentic to my story and not be influenced by other books too much. I write mostly YA Contemporary fiction so when I’m deep in writing I like to read Sci Fi, Historical Fiction, Non Fiction, or even Teacher Education books.
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I’ve heard a lot of writers do that same thing! I can see where that would help keep the book authentic. 😊
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