Weekly Reading – Week 4
Good Genre Fiction as “Good Storytelling”
It is well known that today’s reader’s advisors have to know not only the latest reading trends but also have to be familiar with various genres. In her chapter Herald (2005) defines genre fiction as “a term for writings by multiple authors that are very similar in theme and style, especially where these similarities are deliberately pursued by authors.” Herald (2005) explains that genre fiction divides works of fiction into categories such as mystery, horror, fantasy, science fiction, romance, Western, suspense, thriller, and adventure. Genre fiction makes it much easier for the reader to choose a new book, but readers should be informed that it is common for works of fiction to be a blend of two or more genres. For instance, in romantic novels we can find mystery or even thriller elements, or in many historical fiction novels we can read about romance. Therefore, the importance of becoming familiar with the variety of genre is crucial for every reader’s advisor. Even if patrons cannot define the genre they like, it is the work of the advisor to discover their reading likes and interests.
In regards to the nature of genre fiction, Herald (2005) explains that “genre fiction is constantly evolving, but its essence remains the same – a tale of heroism in which the characters surmount obstacles to triumph.” The author defines good genre fiction as “good storytelling.” I completely agree with the author because when it comes to reading, adults are like children. We enjoy a good story. Some of us prefer a story about a brave prince who fights a dangerous dragon; others like when the dragon fights the prince. Whether the story is romantic, suspenseful, or happy ended, there are just enormous varieties of possibilities we can choose from and reader’s advisors are the ones who can suggest our new favorite book.
Herald, D. T. (2005). Serving today’s reader. In D. T. Herald, Genreflecting: A guide to popular reading interests (6th ed., pp. 31-40). Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.