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Monday, August 4, 2014

Monday Discussion: How Do You Help Readers of Genres You Do Not Enjoy?

It is the first Monday in August so the Monday Discussion is back.

Today, I want to expand a Tweet I did over the weekend to a full discussion on the blog:
 Aug 2If you want to understand why readers love romance read this from : . Now go do some romance

I am not a romance reader, nor do I greatly enjoy the genre.  Faithful readers of the blog know that I work very hard at educating myself on romance so that I can still help the legions of romance readers who come to our desk. [click here, here, or here to see proof and resources you can use too].

But no matter how good I have gotten at understanding why romance readers love romance, and no matter how much I try to use their enthusiasm for the genre to drive me to help them, I am not always confident that I am helping as well as I could if I were a fan.

Now, I know others out there have similar problems with other genres. No matter the genre, I am hoping we can all help each other with tips on how to best help readers of genres you do not particularly enjoy.

I'll go first.  Here are my top 3 suggestions.

  1. Try to talk to a fan of the genre in person. Whether it is a patrons or a fellow staff member, hearing a fan talk about their favorite types of books helps me to synthesize what a reader may love about it. I can also ask some questions to the fan then too.
  2. Read five star reader comments on Goodreads or Amazon.  These are the people who unabashedly love a specific book and I want to know why!  These reviews may not hold any critical weight, but they hold actual real world application.  I can catch a glimpse of a fan's enthusiasm and devotion to a specific author or genre in these completely biased reviews and then use it to help other equallt as ardent fans at my library.
  3. Go to the writer's association webpage for a genre.  The Romance Writers of America do a particularly great job here, but every genre (and some subgenres) has a writers association. These groups main 2 jobs are to help the writers and promote the genre to readers. You can learn a lot about why people read a genre by looking at its writers' association's homepage.
What about you?  What do you do when you have to help a reader who LOVES a genre that you don't care for.  How do you understand why someone loves ______ when you dislike it? Feel free to share specific genres and resources if you are willing to "out" yourself.

For past Monday Discussions, click here.

1 comment:

bplTEENS Tara said...

I too am really not a romance fan. When asked, I turn mostly to printed pick lists and NoveList. So, thank you for the resources!