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Shady Talk: Genre Burnout & Some Tips

by Aleen @ Lampshade Reader

Shady Talk Banner Genre Burnout

Genre Burnout. Happens to the best of us, despite our good intentions. Despite being the voracious readers that we are and want to be. Well, Shady Talk is here to discuss that and also give some tips.

I’m by no means a genre snob. I like almost all types of genres and have been known to experiment with those that I would never have touched.

If you asked me 3 years ago what my favorite genre was I would’ve readily answered with Historical Romance. Hands down, no doubt about it, bare chested men on covers all the way.


(Nothing wrong with classic Fabio though LOL. Plus this cover is from my favorite of all time HRs’, Gentle Rogue by Johanna Lindsey).


But seriously, for awhile there, that’s all that I was reading. Book after book after book, voraciously devouring said stories with book boyfriend material galore. Eventually, I slowly realized that I was not enjoying it anymore.

What happened?

Stories/tropes/characters all started to blend together. The Duke of this, was sounding like the Earl of that. I was asking my self, “Wait? Didn’t I just read a story like this?”

For the record, I would like to state that there is nothing wrong with reading this genre. I know some would say that all romance sounds the same. It’s lazy writing, blah blah blah. I’m not saying that. In fact, I’ll be one of the first to defend the genre.

What I am saying is that I got bored. Plain and simple, nothing in the genre was appealing to me anymore. So I jumped ship and headed towards Contemporary Romance. Guess what? It happened again.

Call me jaded, but I seriously felt like Morticia Addams while she was reading the Cat in the Hat to her “son” in Addams Family Values.


It happened again while reading a book from one of my favorite Contemporary Romance authors Jill Shalvis. Dare I say that I did not finish it? Well, strike two for me.

After this, I kind of went on a reading strike. That, plus a lot of personal/family issues caused me to actually have a reading burnout.  I went back to playing video games and rediscovered my love for that. It was time for a brain re-boot.

Late last year, I tentatively decided to try cracking open a book. My choice was  a YA Fantasy book that I received from my OwlCrate subscription. Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan re-kindled (pun intended all the way) my love for reading.

Maybe it was the break that helped or maybe it was when I was unpacking all of my books since moving and seeing all of my TBR lovlies, but I remembered why I loved reading in the first place.

Tips for the Genre Burnout Victim

1. Take a break–Like me, your brain might just need to re-boot and relax. Do something else to occupy yourself. When you’re ready, you’ll know.

2. Switch Genres–Pretty self explanatory actually. Take an adventure somewhere else. Read a lot of romance? Go to the foggy streets of Victorian England instead. Find that killer. (If you haven’t guessed yet, I’m currently on a Thriller bender, but I know I need to take a break from that soon. So I’ll just go somewhere else. :) )

3. Need help finding the next read?–Subscribe to a book subscription box. If that’s not financially feasible, go to your local library and peruse the shelves. You’re bound to find something.

4. Don’t stress about it–Reading is supposed to be fun. Whether it’s the ARCs (advance reader copies) that’s dragging you down, or the genre you’re stuck in, just remember why you love reading. It could be as simple as that.


Do tell header

Have you suffered from genre burnout?
If not, I’d like to know that too!

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Shelleyrae @ Book’d OutSam@wlabbNicci @ Sunny Buzzy BooksAleen @ Lampshade ReaderKristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight Recent comment authors

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Shelleyrae @ Book’d Out

I rarely read the same genre back to back (unless I’m devouring a series), otherwise I find they blur together too much.

Have a great reading week, and please stop by!


Since I started reading mostly only contemporaries, I have not experienced the burnout, as I had with SFF books. I do read across age groups (YA, NA, MG, adult), and I just switch ages, when I am getting “meh”.

Nicci @ Sunny Buzzy Books

Yep, I’ve burned out so many times… In fact, its been YEARS since I read historical romance because I burned out so badly on it. I burned out on PNR (although I’m going back to that now), I burned out on NA contemporary, adult contemporary… In fact, I think I’ve burned out on everything I love reading at least once.

I just do what you do, I switch. I read something completely different. I take a break from reading. I completely agree with everything you’ve written here, it’s good advice. 🙂

Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight

I’ve definitely found that when you read too much of a genre, it gets harder and harder to find books that stand out because they all start to sound the same when they’re using the same tropes, etc. It’s happened to me with urban fantasy. But the problem is that I still want to read urban fantasy lol, so I’m always searching for something that seems like it might be different. But yeah, I think moving to other genres is the best solution, or maybe just a brain reboot is good too 😛

Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

A book subscription box is a great idea to help you get out of your reading comfort zone.


Being a mood reader, I keep doing this throughout. I usually keep my reading queue as a mix and I am happy it is that way too. Great post.

Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

Great topic, Aleen. I’m very much a mood reader. And while I’m typically drawn to contemporary romance, after every book I finish I pause to think about what I’m in the mood for next. Usually it’s another contemporary romance (LOL) but sometimes I want urban fantasy or YA or a mystery. It definitely helps stave off genre burn-out.


I think belonging to a book club helps. I belong to two and it’s great because I’m reading all sorts of genres all the time. On one hand, I CAN’T WAIT to get to the book I want to read in my favorite genre (SFF or YA SFF), on the other hand I know it’s preventing me from genre burnout because I’ve been there. So I’m in regular rotation of ‘whatever genre’ and ‘my genre’ on a weekly basis.


Probably why I read so many books at the same time, they are usually all different. 1 YA for fast burn, 1 thriller, 1 romance and 1 random genre.

Mary Kirkland

I started out reading nothing but Horror for a while when I was a teenager then went to Historical romance. When I found Paranormal romance which had a bit of horror along with romance I knew I had found my genre.

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer

This happened to me with HF too, for five years I devoured it, then couldn’t look at it for almost five years. Now I try to add it in once or twice a month. Right now I am not feeling contemporary romance. Give me UF, paranormal, historical fiction or subgenres on romance like romantic suspense. I just follow my moods! I also switch up genres as I read so I don’t burn out.

Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library

I definitely have suffered from genre burnout a time or two and definitely taking a break or just wandering through the library and picking up books that appeal to me have both helped a lot. I like the idea of a subscription box but haven’t really had any luck finding any that appeal to me. Great topic!


Awesome tips, thank you!


I’ve never had genre burnout before but I have had just general reading burnout before and I think you tips are perfect for breaking that slump 🙂 Sometimes you just need a re-boot!


I don’t know if it was genre burnout or just liking other genres better these days, but I used to read almost exclusively YA Contemporary. I read all sorts of genres now, and I love it. But I definitely think switching it up sometimes is a good idea. 🙂


Aj @ Read All The Things!

Burnout happened to me with young adult books. If I read a ton of them, I get irritated at the tropes. Everything is so pointlessly angsty! I just make sure I don’t read too many in a row. I’m also really picky about what I read and try really hard to find books that fit my tastes.

Melanie Simmons

I’m the same way. I went through a time bingeing on Paranormal Romance. Now, I’m a bit sick of it. I’m still reading my favorite series, but I haven’t been picking up new series. I’m reading more Fantasy and Suspense and more Romantic Suspense. I agree that there is nothing wrong with reading any genre (or any medium for that matter). But sometimes we need a break, even from our favorite things. Great post.

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