The start of any new year often gives us time to reflect on things we usually can’t find time for with our hectic schedules. Since I have a wide variety of interests and a naturally curious mind, this can often lead me into trouble, I find. One of the less twisted things I pondered over these holidays past was how much variety and choice we have nowadays, particularly when it comes to our fiction. A few decades ago there were a small number of broad genres: romance, mystery, horror and biographies to name the first few that come to mind.
Now it’s not like the publishing industry has reinvented the wheel, but something I did think over was how ePublishing has really opened up these categories – the regular publishers following along sometimes dragging their feet (like with erotica) but sometimes with more enthusiasm (say, the paranormal genre). Ten years ago all the *experts* pooh-poohed the eReader and most snubbed the ePublishers and figured it would prove to be a five minute wonder. What I don’t think they took into account was the sheer scope and variety these new markets could open us up to.
A few decades ago, Paranormal fiction was to be rare. In general, there were strictly vampire stories or sometimes werewolf and always firmly in the horror section. My mother (who has always been a voracious reader) doesn’t recall more than a few books from her teens that could be classified nowadays as paranormal. Now, the bookstores have a shelf or two dedicated to it – and a separate shelf for the Urban Fantasy section. Indeed, over Christmas I noticed one of my larger local bookstores had erected a new section for Teen Paranormal, as a separate entity of its own.
With eReaders, gone are the days those erotic titles and ruder books are kept well hidden in a secret stash in your bedroom. While those of us who are nosy (I still prefer the term curious) might glance over your shoulder and skim the page on your screen to try and decipher what you’re engrossed in on the train – anyone who is curious, or well read, enough to catch on to what kind of book you’re enjoying likely isn’t going to be one to judge.
Even my own tastes have spread over the gamut. I started with a hint of kink (Payback) then delved head first into some werewolves (The Rutledge Werewolf Series) and finally alternate universe vampires (Montague Vampires ).
Total-E-Bound have also broadened their horizons with some fantastic rewrites of the Classics (Cladenstine Classics). It’s a pretty safe bet that regardless of what kind of book you’re in the mood for, it’s out there somewhere and just a Google search away. I’m definitely feeling lucky lately.