What is your favorite fictional species

Book genres - what types of books are there?

Do you know that when asked what your favorite book genres are and have no idea what to say? When you have to describe a book and you don't know what genre it belongs to? You like to read, but do you want to try something new and don't know what kinds of books there are? Then this article will definitely help you.

The word "genre" is French and means "kind", e.g. type of book, type of film ...

You probably know some genres like fantasy, children's books, crime novels, ... at least from listening to them.

Here I would like to explain some well-known genres to you, but also introduce more unknown ones.

Detective novel (often called "Krimi"):

Often times a crime happens at the beginning of the book and the main characters solve it. These can be police officers, for example, and often children's gangs in children's books. There are mystery thrillers where the tension of how the case is solved is important - but there are also thrillers where the tension is built up through action-packed car chases and scary scenes. If the main characters are threatened, for example, the reader is excited. Such thrillers are more for you if you like books with a lot of action and scary moments and don't get scared when reading them. Those who prefer to read crime novels because of the unraveling of secrets and classic detective stories should rather read mystery crime novels.


This genre includes all books that contain magic, mythical creatures, time travel and other things that come from the imagination and cannot be real. This genre is for you if you are interested in magical beings, time travel, magic and the like and / or if you are bored with books that are too much like the real world. The genre is divided into:

Urban Fantasy: The book is set in the real world, but there are fantasy elements, e.g. it is about children finding a fairy tale creature, or the characters can do magic.

Low Fantasy: The book takes place in a made-up fantasy world, but parts of the real world also occur, e.g. an island is invented that lies in a sea that really exists.

High Fantasy: The whole world in which the book is set is made up.

Science fiction:

Similar to fantasy, there are invented elements here, but less about dragons, magicians & Co, but there are e.g. robots, artificial intelligence or spaceships. Often times, such books play out in the future. You will be interested in this genre if you love computers, technology and computer games or if you like to read about space and robots.

Romance novels:

In these books, the romantic relationship between the characters is central. Sometimes the stories are funny, sometimes sad or particularly exciting, exciting, ... You could try the genre if you are interested in love, have ever been in love yourself or, for example, like to watch love films. There are special books for young people and children in which the characters fall in love for the first time.

Family novel:

It is about a (mostly larger) family and their everyday life. The story can be funny and tell everyday problems with humor, but it can also be serious and sad. Often a large part of the books are set in the family home.

Travel novel:

This is about a vacation or other type of trip. The characters go on a trip around the world, go on vacation or move around with their caravan. Again, these books can be both funny and serious.

Historical novel:

These stories take place in the past and are based on real epochs, there are real historical events / people etc. However, the story itself is mostly made up. Most historical novels are written for adults, but there are also many interesting books for young people and children that are set in, for example, Ancient Rome, the Middle Ages or the 20th century. Very often it is about the problems that people had at that time, and you learn a lot about that time. So if you're interested in history, you might want to check out books like this.

Thriller / horror novels:

These books are all about tension and goose bumps. Very exciting, eerie scenes follow one another, it's easy to get scared. Hence, they are not for the timid or very young readers. Horror novels often revolve around abandoned houses, ghosts, cemeteries, and the like, while thrillers don't necessarily have typically creepy elements. There are special novels for kids who like to scare reading and thrill if you feel like it.

Non-fiction books:

No made-up story is told here, but you learn interesting facts about a specific topic. There are non-fiction books about certain animal species, countries, history topics, sports, puberty, genres of music, diseases, and much more. In addition, there are also many guides that give the reader tips, e.g. how to learn an instrument, how to become more self-confident, ...

Foreign language books:

These can be completely normal novels, as already listed here, that have appeared in another country, e.g. if the book by an American author is translated into German, or vice versa. But there are also many books written especially for people who are learning this language. Then the language is kept simpler, difficult words are explained, etc. So if you would like to read in a foreign language, but you are not yet good enough to read real novels, look for books for e.g. French / English / Chinese / ... beginners around!


Other genres, which I cannot list all here, are e.g .:

Everyday novels, animal stories, short story / poetry collections, biographies, drama, comedy, ...

Many books, however, belong to more than one genre. For example, there are many fantasy books in which love relationships play a major role. A criminal case can also occur in a travel novel. A science fiction story or animal story can also be written as a comedy.
In addition, books are also classified according to age and target group. There are books for babies / toddlers, reading books for younger children, books for beginners, books for children and young people, books for young adults, ...
You can also divide books into many other categories:
Is it action- or character-oriented, written from the first person or third person perspective, is there one or more narrative perspectives, does it have a happy ending, an open ending etc?
In bookstores and libraries, books are sorted by genre and age / target group. So if you are looking for a new genre, you could have a look around there or ask the staff, for example.


I hope I was able to give you a little overview. If you have any questions, feel free to write a comment.
You can also comment on which genres of books you like best and which you don't like (and why not).