Reading Books Outside Our Preferred Genre

by Elaine Faber

We all have specific genre we prefer to read, whether it be romance, western, sci-fi, cozy mystery or thriller. As authors, our novels are likely written in our own preferred reading genre. But, we also have author-buddies whose novels are written in another genre, completely contrary to our specific interest.
It is customary to attend our author-buddy’s book launch and purchase their book as a means of showing out support. Our few dollars also help finance their next book. We’ve come to expect them to reciprocate and support our efforts, come to our book launch, even knowing our titles may not be their preferred reading genre.

So we’ve bought our friend’s book, lugged it home and placed it on a shelf where it draws dust and fly-specks over the next few months.

So here’s the question. Was it enough to support our author-buddy and buy her book? Do we actually have to read it now, too?

I think we do.

Sooner or later, our dear author-buddy, whom we wouldn’t hurt for the world, will ask, “Did you finish my book yet? How did you like it?” Her heart will stop for a quarter of a beat, hoping for a compliment but dreading our answer. She’s heard it too many times before. Your face goes pale and you say, “I haven’t had time yet.” What your author-buddy hears, is, “Wasn’t it enough that I went to your stupid launch party with kittens and balloons, spent my hard earned money, lugged home your stupid (fill in the blank with correct genre_____cat--vampire--drippy romance–ghostly killer-- poetry--Shoot um’ up cowboy--kiddie picture, etc.) book? Did you really expect me to read it too?”

“Well, yes,” she answers,” I had time to read your stupid book and write an Amazon review.”
So, it’s time to get out the glass of wine, grit your teeth and crack open your author-buddy’s book. You know and I know it isn’t going to be nearly as clever, interesting, humorous, thrilling, romantic or as well-crafted as OUR novel, but what the heck. Do it for your friend.

You might be surprised when you actually enjoy another genre. Like trying a new food you thought you’d hate, or dyeing your hair a different color, or going to a ballet or a drag race or anything else you didn’t think you’d ever like, but forced by a loved one to try something new, you found you actually liked it.
Maybe her book will make you laugh, or you’ll learn something new about the themed concept behind the story, or you’ll shed an unexpected tear over a particular phrase or description. You finish the book and come away with a new appreciation for your author-buddy.

When did she say the sequel was coming out? Maybe you’ll just take a quick peek… Not because you LIKE that genre, but just to be supportive, you know, like a good friend is supposed to be.

Black Cat’s Legacy, Book Blurb:

New divorcee Kimberlee returns with her young daughter to Fern Lake, her childhood home. Long forgottenmemories of her father’s murder surface. With the help of an author set on writing about the cold case murder and a lovely homicide detective, they set about to solve the cold case murder, but a three-way attraction can only lead to trouble. 

Part of the story is presented from the perspective of the lodge cat, called Black Cat, until he is renamed 

Thumper by Kimberlee’s daughter. For generations, the Fern Lake Black Cats have watched as secrets are hidden at the lodge. With Kimberlee’s return, Thumper knows he must help unravel the mysteries. With the aid of his ancestors’ memories, he knows where the bodies are buried and sets about to point out the clues to Kimberlee. But, Kimberlee and her child could be in danger when too many secrets from the past are revealed and it is apparent that someone will stop at nothing.

Full of danger, romance and feline wisdom, the novel presents a captivating visit into a small town and its secrets. The story will satisfy mystery lovers while the romance within the story will please romance lovers. 

Cat lovers will be entranced by the resourcefulness and insightful Thumper as he presents his ‘take’ on dealing with humans who often can’t spot a clue even when it’s put under their inferior noses. Nor do they realize the wisdom of much that he tries to point out.


Elaine Faber is a member of Sisters in Crime, California Cat Writers, and Inspire Christian Writers, where she works as an editor on an annual  anthology. 

Elaine enjoys writing short stories and speaking on author panels, sharing highlights of her debut novel, 

Black Cat’s Legacy, a tale of intrigue and murder. With the aid of his ancestors’ memories, Thumper helps pursue a cold case murder, but someone will stop at nothing to keep the Fern Lake secrets. 

The sequel, Black Cat and the Lethal Lawyer, to be published in the fall, 2014, takes Thumper’s family to a horse ranch near the Mexico border where they confront wild horses, embezzling, false identities and attempted murder. 

Elaine is putting the finishing touches on a WWII humorous mystery. Eccentric Mrs. Odboddy gets involved with a missing fortune from Hawaii, a casket company, six roosters and the reappearance of an old lover. 

Elaine lives in Elk Grove with four cats, and a husband of 52 years…that’s a marriage of 52 years, not the husband.

Her short stories have appeared in multiple magazines and anthologies and can be found on Facebook and

Black Cat's Legacy is available in kindle version at Amazon for $3.99 or paperback.   


Marja said…
Excellent post, and I agree with you. Unfortunately, I have a stack of about 25 books and each of them needs to be read first. Even more unfortunately, my reading time has been cut way back. Each time I look at the books I sign and wish I could take up speed reading, but then I wouldn't be able to savor each and every word.
Marja McGraw

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