By Advika Chauhan
It’s common for individuals to set a New Year’s resolution to read more. A study done in 2013 used MRI scans to show increased brain activity when reading. In addition, the Cleveland Clinic recommends parents and children read together as early as infancy to help build essential language, vocabulary, and communication skills which will give the child a head start in their education. If you wish to read the entire article sited, you can find it by clicking here.
As we move through our school years, we get a lot more freedom in when, how, and what we read. Some choose magazines, paper books, or opt for kindles or other forms of electronic reading. But where do you start? There are many genres of books and other forms of reading that it can make libraries and book stores very intimidating. Today, we will delve into the world of fiction and all its different sub-genres.
Realistic fiction is a sub-genre of fiction, in which some of the plot, characters, setting, and/or conflict are made up, though many of the plot elements and themes reflect IRL scenarios. Readers will likely be able to relate to characters and situations in realistic fiction books, and it may help them better empathize with others.
Historical fiction is another subgenre of fiction that takes place in a past setting. Characters, plot elements, and/or conflict may be influenced by the time period the book is set in. At times, actual historical figures or events may be portrayed in the story. Historical fiction is a great genre for readers with an interest in history. It may also help them better understand how humanity has progressed and increase empathy (as does realistic fiction).
Many elements of science fiction, affectionately called sci-fi, are influenced by current or previous scientific ideas, beliefs, foundations, or principles. Science fiction often crosses over with dystopian fiction, a genre wherein the story is set in a post-disaster future. Readers with an interest in science (and its humanitarian consequences) should definitely check out either of these two genres.
Seemingly obviously, sports have a significant influence and impact on the plot, conflict, and/or characters in sports fiction novels. Sports fiction is heavily connected to realistic fiction; most sports fiction books fit into both genres. Athletically-inclined readers should pay attention to these titles.
Mystery novels use secrets, hidden clues, and suspense to lure readers in and hook them to a story. Those who enjoy fast-paced novels with problem-solving elements should invest their time in reading a mystery.
Fantasy involves many mystical, make-believe elements, often including magic somewhere within the plot and plot elements. The majority of fantasy novels involve the protagonist battling one of these made-up creatures, symbolizing the ongoing struggle between good and evil. Readers who’d like to be transported to a different world and combine elements of magic, mystery, and romance should pick up a fantasy.
A subvert of fantasy, horror novels also often involve fantastical elements with the primary intention of scaring the reader. This is a great genre for creative and imaginative readers looking for an engaging read that will stick with them even after the last page.
Romance novels primarily focus on a romantic relationship between two characters, often but not always two protagonists. Romance novels can also fit into many other genres and have subgenres of their own, including contemporary romance and fantasy romance. Readers who would enjoy a love story should look out for these books on shelves.
The classic genre is a wide-encompassing genre that’s main titles include books that have heavily influenced literature or a specific writing style. Popular classics include Jane Eyre, Frankenstein, Pride and Prejudice, Little Women, and Great Gatsby. Readers who are looking for an introduction into great literature (perhaps future liberal arts majors) might want to read a classic.
Garnet Valley’s library also contains a Quick Reads section, poetry/verse, biographies, autobiographies, and nonfiction books scattered throughout.