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I've been thinking about this for a while, and I've tried to do some Googling and using Wikipedia and such. I was wondering about some book genres (and in a similar way one can think about film genres as well). I don't quite understand the way book shops or websites or people categorise books sometimes. It seems not everyone uses the same 'system'. I know I use something different from most people. For example, I've read that for a book to be classified as 'historical fiction' it has to be written in a different time period than the one the story takes place in (that's just how I prefer to classify my books). For me, I classify anything taking place before ~1985, on Earth, and that isn't what I call 'literature', I call that historical fiction. What I call 'literature' is what some people call 'classics' and some Dutch literature (where conveniently it says it is on the cover, such as literary thriller: literaire thriller). But I also have 'contemporary fiction', which is fiction taking place after 1985 but not too far into the future and that isn't romancy but that has more depth to it. 'Chick-lit' are romancy and love type stories, as well as sort of girly fun stories about friendship and such. 'Science-fiction' are stories taking place in the future for me, including stories about aliens, space travel, space ships, multiple planets, dystopians and post-apocalyptic. 'Fantasy' is a story with magical elements, often though not always, taking place on a world different from our own. Some people call stories with vampires and werewolves 'urban fantasy', and there's also 'high fantasy'. I call stories with vampires and werewolves and such (or ghosts etc.), 'paranormal'. Classifying things with contemporary and historical, is doing things based on time period the story takes place in. In some British book shops I've been in, 'young adult' is used as a genre (it's on the sign, just like 'science-fiction & fantasy' for example. To me, young-adult isn't a genre. It's an age-range. Within the young-adult age range, the book can be any genre, it can be a dystopian like The Hunger Games or it can be something contemporary such as The Fault in Our Stars. To say they are both the same genre, makes no sense to me. That's like saying there are only a couple of book genres, adult, young-adult, children (or middle-grade, toddlers, whatever). Just like 'comic' or 'manga', I consider that a book format, a way to tell the story. Within comics, or manga, or graphic novels, there's a wide variety of stories to be found. That would be like putting all the books without pictures, 'text'books as I call them, in one catagory too. When is something literary fiction? And why is for example fantasy hardly ever literary? Who decides what has literary value, and who decides what has value for another person? Why are certain genres seen as 'better' than others, and why are there snobs? Why do I feel embarrassed about reading certain books in a public location? Why would there be anything wrong with me reading anything, any book, including something that's below my age range or above my age range or with or without pictures, and more or less complicated, more or less fantastical. A genre is way of classifying books, but within a genre there are still a lot of differences between books. Some books have elements from multiple 'genres'. You could totally have a book with magic and futuristic laser pistols and space ships, that has some deep thoughts on the meaning of life in it. Anyway, just some musings. I hope this wasn't too rambly for anyone.