Today, I want to expand a Tweet I did over the weekend to a full discussion on the blog:
Becky Spratford @RAforAll If you want to understand why readers love romance read this from @HuffPostBooks: http://huff.to/1pvFwLR . Now go do some romance #readadv
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.