Genres

I’ve always wondered why we put books into genres. The word comes from Latin, meaning “kind” or “sort”. In my opinion, books, like people shouldn’t be labeled. For example, if people were books, a flirtatious woman would be romance, a typical teenager would be young adult, and a detective would obviously be a mystery. I feel like books shouldn’t be given labels. Some books don’t even fit into their defined genres. No novel is like the other and a genre shouldn’t define them. I do understand that humans function by putting things into categories and it’s safe to say that my life is as categorized as much as I can make it. Categories are how we organize information and make it easier to understand. However, with all of the new books being written and published, it’s becoming increasingly harder to categorize them into a genre. Take Hunger Games for example. Wikipedia classifies it as adventure, dystopian, science fiction, and action. Personally, I would’ve just called it a young adult novel. This is just one representation of how genres can be confusing or misleading. I’m not a fan of science fiction so if someone told me that Hunger Games was a science fiction novel, I probably wouldn’t read it. However, it has become a massive fandom and I have read them and enjoyed them, but I don’t consider it to be science fiction. The categorization of books also makes me wonder what authors who write these books think about genres. Do the authors set out to write a certain genre? If they don’t, do they agree with the genres that have been placed on their books? This may not be the most persuasive argument but it was just something that was on my mind. What do you think about genres?

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