‘What do you like to read?’ – why this question is so difficult to answer!

Does your mind go blank when someone asks what you like to read? Mine does, mainly because I’m not really sure what I like to read. I know for certain what genres I don’t like to read (romance, hard crime, self-help, anything labelled cosy) but what I do like is more vague when I think about it. For me, writing style is the most important element of a book, so I can’t say that a particular genre is my favourite, because I won’t like the writing styles of all the books in that genre. Looking at my reading history, I do lean towards fiction that is out of the ordinary but which is easy to read without pretentious prose. I like fiction that surprises me. As for non-fiction, that’s a bit easier. I read a lot about music and also gravitate towards niche history books, as well as popular science and humorous travel adventures. The catch is, I have to sample a book before I know whether I like the writing style enough, and even then it’s not guaranteed that I’ll continue reading it. I frequently DNF library books and have quite a few on my NetGalley ‘will not give feedback’ shelf which I have abandoned (I never rate or review books I don’t finish). However, for the sake of giving a straightforward answer when someone asks what I like to read, I say classics, sci-fi, biographies, music and thrillers.

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