A lot of my friends are readers, and my family too. For me when I started reading, I couldn't find a genre that really worked for me. When I was young, I love series, Nancy Drew and Babysitter's Club were my favorites. But as I got older, I still loved series, but I never had a genre that I really loved. It seems to be different for my friends and family. My mom likes two kinds of books, romance (like Nicolas Sparks) and mystery (like James Patterson), she almost never colors outside the lines, except for her birthday and christmas when I buy her a stack of random books that I think she will like. My dad reads only Star Trek books or Tom Clancy books. And some of my best friends are obsessed with fantasy books, but more the epic fantasy books that I don't normally read a lot of.
When I found urban fantasy, I thought I found my niche, my all time favorite genre that I would never need to read anything else. However the more books that come my way, the ones I find myself enjoying the most are the ones that aren't just one genre. I love mystery books with elements of fantasy, or urban fantasy books with a nice dose of comedy thrown in.
One of the most annoying things to me these days is how publishers want box every book into one category. And while it makes sense in a marketing/sales situation, just because books that easily fit into one category are easier to market to potential readers doesn't mean that books that fit into more than one category aren't any good; in fact in my opinion they are some of the best. I am in a lot of writers groups and friends with a lot of authors, and the hardest thing for me to hear is when someone pitches to an agent or an editor and they get, "Your work is great we just don't know how to sell it".
Digital publishers have made this a little easier, since it cost a publisher a lot less money to only publish a book in eBook rather than have to do print copies. And thankfully because of this a lot more publishers are willing to take more chances on books that don't fit the mold. And for that I am really grateful, because the more I read and the more I write the more I realize I like mixing things up. Coming up with all kinds of mixes in genres make for better stories, more compelling characters, and in general a much more fun ride for me.
What are your favorite genres?