Judging a book by its cover is a common thing that we all know about, and have probably been a part of. But judging a book by the genre feels like a common but rarely talked about problem. Although this can be applied outside of YA, I’m talking about “discriminating” between genres like contemporary YA and dystopic YA, or paranormal YA and romance YA. I’ve unknowingly done it time and time again. I seem to discriminate against contemporary books the most. I don’t remember a time when it’s ACTUALLY caused me not to read a book I’m really interested in, but there are other books that I didn’t give a chance initially because of their genre (and cover). I think a main reason is because I think it’s going to be too serious. Sometimes books are a way to escape, so I don’t want to read a book about abuse or suicide, which is not to say that they’re always about really difficult and serious issues. But as far as the serious topics, I’ve rarely considered that they also come up many times in other genres. I also initially seemed to think that if a book was about something serious, that it was going to be extremely boring. In 2010 I definitely learned my lesson, after finding two new favorite books, which just happened to both be contemporary novels (Paper Towns and Please Ignore Vera Dietz). I’ve already gotten better! I hate to admit it, but I didn’t want to read Jellicoe Road because I didn’t like the cover, and it was a contemporary novel (what was I thinking?). I can’t believe I ever let that govern my choice to read it, but it’s now one of my top books to read in 2011. I can’t wait to see what other books I’ve been missing out on! Am I alone in judging books this way? Do you do it too? Have you done it in the past? Let me know!