Let’s Talk About: Reading Deeply vs. Widely

I’m sure this doesn’t cast a wide enough net to catch every reader, but I have a working theory that there are basically two types of readers.

There are readers who read deeply and there are those who read widely.

Deep Readers are the readers who read everything an author has ever written. While they may not always read a variety of genres they will make the exception for select favorite authors. These readers will stick out a middling book waiting for the series to return to its previous glory and will follow an author’s oeuvre despite bumps in the road.

Wide Readers are readers who look to a variety of authors and genres to find books. Sometimes they will finish a series or read multiple books by an author. But just as often they will read one to see what the buzz is about and move on. While there is still room for favorite series and even authors, these readers are much quicker to walk away when a series/author’s work becomes frustrating or dull.

In tracking my reading habits more closely here on the blog, I know that I am a Wide Reader. It is rare that I will have read every book in a series but if you ask me about the first book the odds are good I’ll have an opinion. Similarly I might not read every book by a bestselling author but chances are high I’ll have read at least one or read some reviews on it.

In trying to work through some of my owned books to read I have been finishing more series as I get to sequels but generally I am okay with walking away from a series in the middle. I also have a very select few authors from whom I will read anything they publish (middle grade is still an exception to this and a weak spot, but who knows. That might change.)

So tell me: Do my reading types seem accurate? Do you read deeply or widely?

Let’s talk about it in the comments!


10 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About: Reading Deeply vs. Widely

  1. I’d have to say that I’m a deep reader with wide phases, if that makes sense. I tend to want to stay in my comfort genres (paranormal romance, urban fantasy), but I also try and branch out, and will go through phases where I read nothing but contemporary (a genre I normally stay away from).

    1. I often read in phases myself. My reading for the past two years has been dictated by committee work so I’m not even sure what I would gravitate toward if left to me own devices.

  2. I think I vary depending on the week… though I probably lean toward a deep reader. I’m most “at home” with fantasy (high or historical – yes I just said that!) or contemporary, but I’m learning to branch out and try paranormal, sci-fi, and adult or middle grade books. I tend to be a bit obsessive, so if I find an author I like, I try to read everything from them! Even if it takes me a while ;)

    1. Sci-fi is a harder one for me to embrace too. I’m reading more adult fiction (partly from seeking it out and partly from my favorite YA authors getting adult book deals) but I just have no tolerance for middle grade most of the time. It’s terrible!

  3. I’m a wide reader for sure! I really tend to only reach for the books that interest me, regardless of author. For example, I love Stephen King! BUT, if you were to ask me about this book or that book of his, odds are that I haven’t read it. Granted, I’ve still probably read more of his books than anyone else (the exception being maybe some of the younger series I once read, like Nancy Drew), but he has so many books written and I just don’t have time to read them all!

    1. That’s true! One of the things I’ve been realizing while cleaning up my bookshelves is that loving an author doesn’t necessarily mean you have to read (or love) all of their books and (in terms of my shelves) it also doesn’t mean you have to own everything they’ve written.

  4. I read deeply. I am very loyal when it comes to favorites authors and finishing series (for the most part but now I’m telling myself it’s okay not to finish every single series I start)

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