Sunday 6 September 2015

The Readers' Advisory Guide to Genre Blends

Finished August 20
The Readers' Advisory Guide to Genre Blends by Megan M McArdle

This short guide gives an introduction to the topic of genre blendings, discussing the issues that arise with books that blend genres, the primary one being where to put things on the shelf if you have a collection that separates genres.
My library doesn't separate genres, but we do use spine labels to help guide patrons, and because we don't use multiple labels, this can result in similar issues.
Following the introduction and issues, this guide focuses on seven genres and the blends between them. A chapter is devoted to each genre, with an overview of the genre, a discussion of genre blending with that genre and sections discussing the blending with each of the other six genres. These sections include a look at three books that blend the two genres, sometimes with a third genre as a bonus, and two books that deflect readers back to the genre that most interests them of the two blended ones.
Genres covered here are Adrenaline, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Romance, and Science Fiction.
This is followed by a chapter on Whole Collection blends. This chapter looks more at format and offers genre blends in the formats of TV, Film, and Graphic Novel. For each of these formats, it looks at three examples, offering suggestions for the other formats and then gives a short list of other genre blends in the format discussed.
The next chapter is advice on how to do readers' advisory for genre blends, including suggested questions to ask readers, promotion ideas, and finding aids.
The last chapter is a discussion of genre blending with literary fiction, an interesting viewpoint on varieties of literary fiction. For me, this would be a path to guiding readers to books they may have classified as literary and therefore not of interest to them. By emphasizing the genre element in these literary or classic novels, we can expand readers' range and introduce them to new authors. McArdle gives 6 examples for each of the seven genres.
There is also an appendix of authors who are particularly adept at writing genre blends..
This is a good addition to any public library collection of readers' advisory tools, and a good resource for readers' advisory training for staff.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds really important for shelving, thank you, sometimes I'm stumped, in my little library that is growing. thank You.