Much like with anything, popular book genres can change. While literary classics have a place in the bestsellers lists regardless, some people like to dip in and out of genres on a whim.

While the genre will undoubtedly affect how a writer approaches a story, what makes a genre popular can be less obvious. But what affects popular genres? Typically it can be if a popular author has released a new book and sales surge. Or if pop culture takes an interest in a specific book or series and reignites people’s interest. Or even an adaptation of a book to a movie can prompt those who have seen the said movie to go and read the book.

In 2021, what are the most popular book genres?

Book Genre #1 – Romance

E-books have made it easier to access books you wouldn’t normally pick up at a bookstore or library. Reading digitally has its benefits aside from being able to conceal the book you are reading. Romance is a popular and steadfast choice for both men and women. It has also seen a boom in sub-genres such as billionaire romance books, thanks in part to the runaway success of 50 Shades of Grey. If you prefer WLW romance stories like I do, you will find no shortage of amazing stories on Amazon.

Book Genre #2 – Crime

With the popularity of true crime shows and podcasts, it makes sense that the number one genre in the US right now is crime and thriller. There is something about being terrified or delving into a mystery that is undoubtedly alluring to people.

Book Genre #3 – Fantasy

The fantasy genre has seen massive growth lately, with more people wanting to get lost in the land of make-believe. This allows them to forget about real life for a little bit. Fantasy books can cover anything and everything, from magic and vampires to shifters and worlds far beyond Earth. Subgenres include paranormal romance, high fantasy, epic fantasy, and steampunk.

Book Genre #4 – Young Adult

Contrary to the genre, young adult fiction or YA fiction isn’t just for young adults. However, that is who the genre is primarily written for. If you have been a fan of books such as Twilight, Vampire diaries, or even The Hunger Games, you will know that these books are not only written for young adults, but they are the central characters in the stories. The appeal of this genre far exceeds the age range portrayed, and some books take on a cult following of their own. One of my favorite writers in this genre is Rachel Gold.

Book Genre #5 – Self Help

Self-help books, motivational books, or even religious books are massively popular. The perfect lifestyle is an idea some people forever live in search of anything that pertains to helping them reach this goal will become popular. 

Thanks to social media, it has never been easier for people to cross that bridge from influencer to author and share their method for success, be it home organization like The Home Edit or Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World by William H. McRaven.