Yesterday, when I posted about Summer Reads 2011, I realized that most of my picks were in the YA/Fantasy realm. I've been slowly sucked into that genre since Harry Potter and Lyra Belacqua hit the scene. Now it's what I look for especially since it's what I'm writing (now.)
Having said that, I love all genres, even the literary 'non' genre. There's nothing I won't read, but I do go through phases. When Bryce Daniels posted on my blog yesterday that he was looking forward to the new Jeffrey Deaver book, it brought me back to when I would devour those books. I had a serious crime/thriller bent in my late twenties. I've also been into golden age mysteries, romance novels, classics and graphic novels.
It's not that I don't like those things now, it's just not where I'm at. I bought a romance recently by an author who I really liked, Elizabeth Hoyt. It has gathered dust in my TBR pile while other books get whipped through. I pick it up, I put it down. My reading moods seem to last for years. It's a funny thing.
At the Pennwriters conference agents couldn't say enough about the need to be knowledgeable about your genre - specifically reading in your genre. I think it was Kathleen Ortiz that had the rule '2000 in 2000 out', meaning that for every 2000 words you write, you should be reading that much of your genre. Barbara Poelle went a little further, telling us to find the shelf at the bookstore where our book would be. Go alphabetically in the genre and find where your yet-to-be-published book would be. Then buy (or get out of the library) the two books on either side of the shelf. Educate yourself.
So, do you read in your genre? Do you cheat on the genre you write in? Do you mix it up or go through phases like I do? What genre are you reading and why?