Books have been made for thousands of years, and over millennia they have definitely changed. There are now hundreds of different genres of books that you can enjoy and you can find so many different stories to suit your needs.

But because there are so many different genres of books out there, you might be wondering what the most popular genre of book is. Well, if this is a question that is burning in your mind, then you have come to the right place!

Below you will find out everything you need to know about what genre of book is the most popular. This question doesn’t come with a simple answer, but you will have a much better idea once you have finished reading!

What Genre Is The Most Popular?

As previously stated, this question does not come with a simple answer. The popularity of different book genres tends to change and vary all the time. What might be popular at the moment will be surpassed by a different genre at a later date.

There is no fair way to determine which genre is the most popular, but there are a few genres that really stand out in terms of popularity.

The most popular genres of books, based on history, elapsed time, and readers can be found below.

  • Science Fiction & Fantasy
  • Romance
  • Self-Help & Motivational
  • Thrillers & Horror
  • Mystery
  • Young Adult
  • Children’s Fiction
  • Biography

The popularity of these genres tends to fluctuate, and they surpass each other all the time, but the most popular books usually fall under one of these genres. Each of these genres has its own traits and characteristics, so read on to find out a bit more about each of them.

Science Fiction & Fantasy

Both science fiction and fantasy books usually fall under the same bracket, and they often get placed together in bookstores and online bookstores.

Fantasy books, and sometimes science fiction, usually take place in a time period that is different from our own. They sometimes take place in entirely different worlds!

Science fiction stories usually take place in some form of dystopian setting and they usually deal with things such as the ramifications and advancements of technology.

Some science fiction books take place in space, while others deal with real-life situations, but with more technological and scientific advancements going on in the background.

There are also many subgenres of both science fiction and fantasy, some of which include urban fantasy, steampunk, high fantasy, epic fantasy, and dark fantasy. It is also not uncommon for science fiction and fantasy to overlap.

Some science fiction and fantasy books will often take place in the real world as well as fictional worlds as well, one such example is Percy Jackson & the Olympians by Rick Riordan.


In terms of sales, romance can arguably be called the most popular genre. These books tend to be about a main character falling in love with another character, and the story documents their love story.

Romance novels come in many different shapes and sizes, and often cross into other genres too, some of which include paranormal, science fiction, young adult, and even horror.

Romance novels get so many sales because they are usually sold in grocery stores next to the checkout isles and they are one of the most popular genres for people to self-publish.

Self-Help & Motivational

A type of non-fiction genre, self-help, and motivational books have been incredibly popular for years.

These types of books often tackle real-life problems and issues, such as mental health, psychology, and even business, and they are presented in many different ways.

Some of these types of books come from a religious angle, which is very popular amongst religious communities worldwide.

These self-help and motivational books are so popular because they offer realistic methods and solutions for your problems, and people end up telling their friends and family about the books.

Thrillers & Horror

Thrillers and horror books are incredibly similar to mystery books, but they are still very much their own genre. Thrillers especially are filled with intense scenes and suspense and horror books are really good at making you feel fear.

People love thrillers for their fast pace and suspenseful writing. They love horror because of the way they instill fear into the reader as well as the shock value.

One of the most popular thriller writers is Dan Brown, while the most well-known horror writer is, of course, Stephen King.

What Genre Is The Most Popular?


Mysteries are a lot like thrillers and horror novels, but they usually aren’t as intense or scary. That being said, a good mystery book really builds suspense and has fantastic pacing. They are so popular because they bring the reader into the fold and make them want to solve the mystery for themselves.

There are lots of subgenres of the mystery genre, some of which include classic whodunnits, scientific mysteries, hardboiled detective stories, and even cozy mysteries. But the most popular subgenre of mystery is true crime, which is arguably why this genre is so popular.

Mystery novels have been around for a long time, and their popularity just continues to skyrocket.

Young Adult

Young Adult novels take popular adult genres and rewrite them for older teenage audiences. The main character is usually a teenager themselves, or very young at least, which allows the young adult reader to identify more with them.

In the mid-2000s/early 2010s, young adult fiction became incredibly popular thanks to book sagas such as The Hunger Games, Twilight, and The Divergent series. All of these series got turned into Hollywood movies too, which drew in more people to read them.

But young adult novels really became popular thanks to the release of Harry Potter, and they continue to grow in popularity to this day. Most YA novels usually take place in a fictional setting, sometimes dystopian or in a different world that exists alongside our world.

They incorporate romance, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, and even horror into the plot.

Children’s Fiction

Children’s fiction is aimed at kids who are too young for both adult fiction and YA fiction. They come in all different shapes and sizes, and for all ages, ranging from picture books to full-on novels for middle-grade level readers.

Fairy tale stories are usually aimed at children, and they fall under the children’s fiction genre as well.


Finally, we have biographies, autobiographies, and memoirs. These books are another kind of nonfiction book that tells the stories of people’s real lives. Usually, they are written by public figures or even celebrities, and it gives the reader the opportunity to take a peak into these people’s lives, which is why they are so popular.


It is quite difficult to name just one genre as the most popular, so that is why we have given you this list instead. Each of the genres we have listed here is incredibly popular and almost all of the best-selling books ever made fall into one of these genres.

The most popular genre of all always varies and has a lot to do with what’s popular at the time, what the sales are like, and more.

If anyone ever asks you what the most popular book genre is, you can name any one of these!

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