Chatterbox: Book Binging – Reading too much of one genre

March 14, 2014 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | Books, Chatterbox, Features

I’m guilty of book binging a particular genre and then getting sick of it. It happened when I read urban fantasy, dystopians, young adult paranormal books and now contemporaries. When I book binge, everything begins to sound the same after a while and I get really frustrated with reading the same tropes all the time. If anything, I get more negative about the books I review in the consistently same genre.

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of dystopians, but for some reason I’ve been forgoing the endless vogue in YA for contemporaries, fantasy, and even adult books. There’s only enough love that I have for the Hunger Games and it’s friends when I start seeing patterns over and over. Not to mention that many dystopians these days seem to be subpar and fail on character development and world building, just used as a front for a poorly written instant romance.


Before blogging, I was a big fan of reading business and personal development books. I loved reading the likes of Robert Kiyosaki, John Gray and Donald Trump, and even then all of them started sounding the same after a while. I moved onto classics and literary fiction bestsellers, needless to say that wasn’t quite the genre that resonated with me. Then when I discovered Goodreads, that’s when I found paranormal romance and urban fantasy titles, these worlds of paranormal creatures and romance that focused on kick ass heroines and world building. That was more my style.

I can feel another book binge slump coming on, and I think that has to do with YA books. Keeping up with all the latest releases can be consuming, and before I realise it I’m getting frustrated with what I’m reading. There’s only so much insta love, cliffhangers and love triangles you can handle before you get a little loopy. That’s why I kind of enjoy those unusual reads, such as Bird and White Space which are different to the usual. I’m going to switch up my reading a bit more and read some of the adult books, urban fantasy and NA that is on my shelf.

Do you get sick of the same genre after a while? How do you cope with it?Β 

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Jeann is an Aussie blogger, gamer, reader who loves to read, write, fangirl, geek out and eat food. You can find me glued to one of my many mobile devices 24/7, or fangirling over the latest YA book, TV show, movie or game. Chat with me on Twitter @happyindulgence

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72 responses to “Chatterbox: Book Binging – Reading too much of one genre

  1. Going back and forth between genres is the best way to deal I think. Vampires and dystopians seem to dominate at the moment, as well as NAs. Wow, Mockingjay was a good one. I didn't like Allegiant though.

  2. It's amazing these days how lots of books are so similar to each other, especially in the YA genre. I know what you mean about the drama! I mean the world ending, people saving lives and humanity, it gets way too intense after a while. I'm in the mood for some light fluffy contemporaries. Thanks for your comment Chiara!

  3. I need to take a break now and then, though my to-go genres are always dystopians, sci-fi and fantasy.

    I rarely read contemporaries but sometimes I feel like I need them to have a change of pace.

    I usually binge read stuff too, I've done it with Agatha Christie books, with Terry Pratchett books and then I reach a point of saturation and I need to stop reading those and then go back to it after a good while!

  4. Yeah, I've been doing the same because you can't always have the world ending and people saving hte fate of mankind. I totally agree with the insta love and love triangle being annoying lol. Percy Jackson is a great one for a reading slump!

  5. I think it's totally understandable that you would get burnt out on a genre after reading so much of it. Personally, that doesn't ever really happen to me, but I think that's because I'm such a planner when it comes to my reading. I try to make sure that I switch it up with the kinds of books I read every month. There's usually pretty good mix of YA, adult, nonfiction, paranormal, fantasy, etc. so that I don't read too much of one thing.

    • Absolutely, I think it's such a good idea to switch up books. Even this month alone I had 2 books that I needed to read that were based off THG, like Red Rising and Fire & Flood. That sort of thing can tire me out.

  6. I definitely get sick of the same book, but not so much in genre. I try not to binge read the same genre. I'll read a fantasy, and then a dystopian, and then maybe a fantasy again. I don't do this on purpose though – it just happens because I don't like reading things that are too similar straight after one another.

    Something that does happen to me more often is this: I get sick of drama. The world is ending, someone's dying, people are after x and y. I just get sick of it. I mean, so many stressful lives – I cannot handle it! So sometimes, when I am exhausted about reading drama-ridden novels, I'll take a break. Like I am now. I'm reading a cutesie contemporary novel, and it's like a breath of fresh air. No corrupt government, no life or death situation. It's just nice and fluffy.

    The reason why I like to mix up my dramas is because I would stop believing in them. I mean how many times can you REALLY care about whether a character changes the world or not? or lives to see a new government? It gets exhausting after a while so I spice it up to give each book an even chance. πŸ˜€

  7. I so the same thing – glom a specific genre. Then I usually get burned out on it. Happened to me with paranormal romance. And I'm starting to get burned out on romantic suspense. I'm hoping I'll get in the mood for some PNR but it hasn't happened yet.

  8. Debbie Krenzer

    I tend to binge as well with certain genres and I do find my reviews lacking sparkle sometimes. However, I have added a couple of other genres to my TBR list and find that it helps to go back and forth. I agree with the fact that when a certain trilogy does well, too many people jump on the bandwagon. I hardly go a day without seeing a new book with vampires. I am definitely over that genre for a while. And while I liked Hunger Games, I did not finish the 3rd in the series, Mockingjay, it was becoming too redundant for me. I found the Divergent and The Testing series much better!!

  9. I am a serial Binger!

    I am currently in a Fantasy binge, but since there are all kinds of different fantasy sub genre I don't feel the effects of overeating πŸ˜›

    Usually when I'm in a slump, I​ either read the exact opposite of what I was reading or go marathon a few seasons of a tv-series, that gets me going πŸ˜€

  10. I definitely do this! I love to read a bunch of books in the same genre or on the same topic all at once, but I do usually get burnt out eventually. It's the worst when that happens and I still have ARCs I'm committed to reading in the genre I'm burnt out on, but I do my best to get through them and still review them without negativity because of my burn out.

  11. This is something I struggle a lot with, too. I do have two fall back genres that I love no matter what: fantasy and dystopia, but sometimes I venture out and binge read contemporary after contemporary or something, just like you mentioned. Keeping it fresh by switching up genres is a great piece of advice.

  12. Paris

    I'm definitely one of those that binge reads genres, sometimes even series. I try not to because I know that there will be burn out involved, but I can't help it. I think I'm just a glutton for punishment.

  13. Defintely – usually my reading slumps happen when I've been reading too much of a genre. Like this whole year I've been reading adult contemporary, and then I got in an awful slump. I randomly picked up The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, because I've been intrigued by it for years despite some negative reviews – devoured it, devoured The Evolution, and BAM, outa my slump.

    I kind of pride myself on reading widely, and I definitely think that encouraging oneself to read a variety of genres is a great idea.

  14. I have same problem – it's like I go trough reading phases: paranormal, young adult, adult, romance, urban fantasy… First I'm all moon-eyed and in the end everything annoys me.

    I don't like when I feel obligated to read certain books, most of the times I end up not liking them – reading ARC's is alomst like I'm back in high school, I was never a big fan of writing book reports.

    Great post, Jeann.

  15. I'm totally a dystopian girl, I love that genre but I know what you mean. Lately Dystopians are ALL sounding the same and lack any real character development, plot originality, etc. It's sad and annoying. I tend to binge read genre too. Which is bad because like you pointed out, you get bored and sick of it after a while and everything starts sounding the same. But sometimes I just can't help it. it's a strange vicious cycle. πŸ™

    great posts, really made me take a step back and think

    Lily @ Lilysbookblog

  16. Oh I'm so guilty of this. I've been reading fantasy for a month now I think. I just cannot make myself read some other genre. Sadly at the end I get tired of that genre. I need to arrange my reading list much better. Great post, Jeann.

  17. Such a lovely and relatable post! I've recently grown tired of dystopian – there are just so many of them O.o My remedy for a genre-burn out is usually to switch things up a bit. I won't read anything in taht genre for a while, but I'm also not going to read just ONE other genre, because then I'll grow tired of that genre! So I just keep things spiced up with lots of different genres, and it almost always works for me πŸ™‚

  18. I HATE binge reading that turns into reading slumps. πŸ™ This usually happens to me when I read contemporary or dystopian novels. For fantasy, I can usually go on and on without getting tired of the genre, since each book has a different concept and talk about different creatures. I try to put some variety in my reading now, so that I won't be too overworked with one genre. ^_^ I don't get tired marathoning series, though, as long as each book has a different plot from the previous one. πŸ™‚

  19. I've rarely met a post apocalyptic or dystopian I haven't liked. They're always my first preference on my shelf. But I have the sane feelings about fantasy. I hardly read them, the few ones I've tried were either incredible or incredibly shithouse. You sound like you're in a book funk Jeann.

  20. YAY I'm glad someone noticed Cyn, I LOVE Sailor Moon! For me she was my ultimate childhood idol lol. Yeah, I think it's important not to binge read cos you might burn out. I've been switching between YA and contemporaries, whether NA or YA. Thank you, I love urban fantasy! My favourites are Weather Warden series and the Night Huntress series.

  21. YEEESSS I need to read those 2 books ASAP! I have heard so many awesome things about Written in Red, everyone seems to be raving about it lately and I need to find out. I have Golem and Jinni on my shelf but haven't gotten around yet. Thanks for the recs hun!

  22. Girl, you really do need to spice up your reading. Lately I've found myself in pretty much the same predicament as you, getting sick of YA novels that pretty much are starting to sound the same. Rehash, rehash, same old formula. That's why every now and then I venture towards adult books. Have you tried reading Blood Song by Anthony Ryan? Try The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker, or Written in Red by Anne Bishop. Those are my all-time favorites and they always save me from book slumps!

  23. I usually don't get sick of the same genre or series… but for a series, I don't read it ASAP and devour the entire series in one sitting. ^_^

    I think that's just me and stalling. πŸ˜‰

  24. I've been feeling this so much lately. But the heart wants what it wants, so it'll probably a while until I find myself another brand of genres to read.

    Great post, Jeann.

  25. First all, awesome use of Sailor Moon!

    So yeah, I totally know that bring feeling of regret. I'm definitely tired of the dystopian, so I've been trying to be more selective of what I read. I actually totally binge read romance novels a lot haha. What usually happens is I'll get tired of YA so I binge read romance, than I go back to YA. That's my coping mechanism haha.

    Great discussion! I've been thinking of trying more urban fantasy, too. Let me know if you find some awesome books/series πŸ˜‰

  26. Absolutely. I'm a total genre binge reader. Lately I've been on more of a romance in various forms – contemporary, paranormal, etc. But I already feel my mood shifting, but I'm not sure to what yet. Probably some horror. πŸ˜‰

  27. This is so true :/ After you read so many in the same genre, you start to realize most of the authors don't really have their distinct voices and styles (and obviously using similar tropes). And then you get pickier, more easily disappointed, and all that negative emotions. Personally, I often try to switch up the books I read and never go on a binge for particular genres. Balance out a little bit, so you won't feel burned out so quickly πŸ™‚

  28. Oh yeah, that's why I burned myself out with YA. YA is the last genre I would read now. Hard lesson learned so I switch my genres up. Try that, maybe that'll fix it for ya

  29. I don't get usually sick of particular genres, but I do get sick of books that feel like a dozen books I've already read before. I think there is always a way to make familiar tropes seem fresh again and I always love it when books can put a new twist on something.

    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

  30. I have definitely binged before on certain genres and it only makes me super cynical and critical. It lessens my enjoyment. I have learned to switch things up all the time. That's why I don't limit my book blog or my reading to a certain age group or genre. I read nonfiction, fiction, all genres and all ages. I still get reading slumps, but it can be freeing to not be confined to one type.

    • Definitely, I'm glad this is what everyone else seems to experience as well. It just shows how important it is to switch things up and not pigeon hole yourself into a genre hey?

  31. Agreed. I have had this so many times, but I think that when you read like.. Idk. I read The Immortal Rules which was dark and I finished Grave Mercy today which was quite dark as well so now I crave for a contemporary and romance and whatnot so that's what I'm going to read. I try to mix it up, sometimes I even read different genres together like fantasy and contemporary. Also, mixing YA and NA books like that help a lot. And yes to everything you said about insta-love and cliff hangers etc are just gahhhhhh.

    • Yeah, I'm the same, I think in 1 month I read way too many books about PTSD and now I can't read any more! I need to give it a break before I delve into it again. That is what I've been doing lately, mixing YA, NA and contemps.

  32. I read 4 dystopians concurrently: Horde series with PKC, Divergent & Mortal Instruments and the last book of Delirium, which was Requiem. I haven't been the same since. I cringe when I hear Dystopian. It was too much.

    What I do to avoid burn out is I never read more than 4 books in a row from any genre. I have a starter plan complete with Historical romances, m-m, pnr/uf and contemporary stuff including NA/Ya or chick-lit.

    i may get into a series and just read like 5 books straight. that is rare, very rare now.

    Instead, I have adopted a 2 book a month rule. I try to read 1-2 books of a series a month and read the next two the following month. That way i don't get burnt out on any single genre.

    • WOW! That is crazy Ezi, I can see why that was too much for you. That's a really good way to avoid burn out, I think I've been reading too many dystopians and just YA books in general, so it's easy to see the same patterns. Thanks for sharing your formula!

  33. You are not alone, Jeann! Sometimes, you can't help but compare all the books that you've read from the same genre and end up hating the next books that come along. That's why need in-between books for reading slumps. It's natural and it happens to us bibliophiles a lot!

    • Good to hear, Dre! It's always helpful when everyone else says they are having the same problems as well. In between books are necessary, I love those light fluffy contemporaries for this purpose.

  34. I can relate to what you are feeling completely. Typically I read a lot of romance, whether it's dystopian, urban fantasy, na contemporary, etc…but after a while it becomes more difficult to find a book that has the WOW factor. But I keep at it, searching for that book and normally I will find it but it does take a while. πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    • Yeah, I think that's the downfall of being a reviewer – you've seen it all before! But then when a book sweeps you away it holds a lot more weight I guess. No problems, thank you Cristina!

  35. I try not to read two books of the same genre after one another. Recently, I have a really strong craving for adult non-fiction or memoir type reads, and I guess I'll be indulging that by reading some book about ancient Rome after I read a YA paranormal. I feel like when I read the same type of story after a while, I became incredibly critical. :/

  36. I did the binge reading and boy did I learn. I even gave up HF for five years. Now I never read the same genre back to back and mix in everything from horror to chick-lit. I won't even read a series or trilogy back to back because I found I began to skim to get to the end and didn't truly appreciate the books by themselves. This week I have read a futuristic dystopian fantasy, a paranormal romance, a psychological thriller and a contemporary romance. Great topic πŸ™‚

    • Oh yes, I think I'm getting jaded from reading so many dystopians and YA back to back lol! Some books will lull me back into that sense of security that maybe they will be awesome but nope, whenever a horrible one hits I am back to being negative about it again.

  37. I've definitely been worried about hating a genre after binging on it so I try to mix it up a lot. I usually stay within YA but it's so broad that I can't see myself getting sick of it any time soon. I could probably do a Dystopian every now and then but they're starting to get to me too!

  38. Oh yeah, dystopians. I think a lot of us have been sick with that genre for the past year. With the success of Hunger Games and Divergent, everyone tries to recreate them that it's not about the content anymore, it's the label or genre (in this case dystopia) that matters more. I get bored if I read the same genre after a while, especially when there isn't much difference between the books I'm reading. Same as Amanda, I try to read books from different genres so that I won't get bored with one genre.

  39. I don't really have this problem. I guess because I don't binge read LOL! I tend to like many different genres and for some reason I mix them up so I never get tired of one thing. But I have in the past and I did find that I got really sick of a certain type of book when I did that. So I guess I've learned my lesson!

  40. I honestly have no idea if I'd get sick of the same genre after a while because I always switch between genres and age categories when reading. I quite rarely read two books of the same genre in a row (unless it's a series that I'm binge reading or something). For example, the last few books I've read- The Alloy of Law (adult high fantasy), The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare (YA scifi), The Way of Kings (adult high fantasy), Dear Killer (YA mystery/thriller). Even when I do read a lot of one genre, I don't think I read enough to get sick of them. Who knows though. Maybe it's happened before and I just can't remember haha.

  41. Ah I really like Dystopians, but at the moment, I really don't feel like reading any Dystopians, so I'm just like meh. Let's not read that. Let's just read what I feel like reading. And at the moment, that's more the contemporary novels, or the books surrounding about a disease and the MC dies at the end. Just a book that would make me cry. I can't really keep up with all the books coming out really. ALL THOSE BOOKS. TOO MANY BOOKS. Most of the newer dystopians look like they have been done before. They don't seem new :/

  42. Thank God someone else agrees about most dystopias being covers for subpar romances! What is UP with that? 'My romance doesn't have enough angst and tension . . . LET'S SET IT AFTER THE APOCALYPSE. That'll mean I can write loads of brooding scenes' :/ lol.

    I love dystopias but the descriptions for upcoming ones / ones I haven't read yet are not interesting to me. They all sound exactly the same and I can't be bothered to read the same book a gazillion times. Thankfully that seems to be the only genre I'm 'bored' with.

    Oh and speaking of Bird; I got that through the other day! I'll let you know how I get on πŸ™‚

    • YES I need to vent about that during one of my upcoming discussion posts lol. But you'd think in an apocalypse they had other things to worry about instead of "When is he going to kiss me" and "what should I do to get his attention" AGGH so frustrating lol! Glad to know you got Bird, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

  43. I think I do get fed up of the same genre after a while and that's why I read a variety and shake it up as much as I can. Most times I'll read fantasy and dystopians and then read contemporaries in between, but at the moment, I'm reading more contemporaries and reading fantasy books in between; it just allows me to not get fed up of a single genre or book binge, and it stops impending reading slumps. It might be worth reading one book of one genre and then having the next being entirely different, it might help πŸ™‚

  44. I do get sick of a genre if I read too much of it in a row. I am totally out of dystopians though–not loving a single one I pick up lately. I am finding myself reading more contemporary/realistic fiction for some reason, and I am actually not too sick of it yet. I normally just read a completely different genre if I feel like I am getting burned out.

    Great post! <33

    • I am the same Mel, although some dystopians have pleasantly surprised me lately like The Last Girl and Red Rising! I go into them with trepidation though. Even contemps are getting slightly repetitive too.

  45. I'm sure this is a problem for publishers, too – when a hugely successful book is one genre, there tend to be a LOT of other books following in that genre. It happened with vampire books from Twilight, then dystopians from Hunger Games, and cancer books from TFiOS. I read a LOT of contemporary, so I get annoyed by the love triangles as well (why are there so many in contemp???). At the moment I've been trying to change it up a bit with fantasy and sci-fi, which definitely helps πŸ™‚

  46. Before I was book blogging I really went wild with YA dystopians. I love them, don't get me wrong, but GAH I read too many too fast. I'm behind on a few of the newer dystopians, but all the old ones? I've pretty much tried. >.< Definitely burnt myself out a bit. I'm usually pretty varied to the genres I read, though, because I read according to what ARCs are in. Which is good! It keeps me from getting into ruts! πŸ™‚

    • I'm the same, I LOVED the Hunger Game, Divergent, and everything else that went with it but they are definitely becoming the norm now, every author wants to write a dystopian. It's just a shame that so many of them these days are subpar!

  47. I usually read series a lot (dsytopian & paranormal), but I interject with contempory after some series. It helps me not to get boring πŸ™‚

    I know your feeling, when I read too many dystopian, I lose my interest. I feel like I read different books in the same world, same characters, same insta-love. Insta-love and triangle love did annoy me, especially when I wanted to read an epic story and then that 2 formulas appeared. But many authors seem to like that formula because it usually gets insta-hype too, like making team and stuff like that.

    I actually like cliffhanger because usually it makes me remember about the prequel when I get the next book of the series, but do you think cliffhanger is kinda a new trend in YA books these days? I'm currently reading Percy Jackson series and it makes me remember that it's felt good to finish a book of a series and feel content.