Feature: Popular Genres & Topics: Spring 2022 Predictions

By Alyse Mgrdichian

As the years come and go, popularity fluctuates, whether it has to do with fashion, food, music, or movies. However, humans have predictable patterns, and book tastes are no exception. So, what trends can we expect to see in 2022?

Regarding popular genres, romance has always reigned supreme in terms of sales, whether it be contemporary, historical, or YA. This is because the genre itself has a loyal fan-base, one which will carry over into 2022 and beyond. The next most popular genre will likely be Mystery & Thriller, tied with Adult Nonfiction (especially self-help and inspirational) and followed closely by Adult & YA Fantasy / Sci-Fi. These genres, especially the first three, have dominated book sales over the past few years, and will likely continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

What sorts of topics can we then expect to perform well in 2022? With nonfiction, the most popular topics have consistently been memoir, self-help, business, relationships, and social change. And, while there are nonfiction books that are more traditionally educational or specialized, niche books tend to have niche audiences. This trend will likely carry over into 2022, as people continue learning and bettering themselves and the world around them. Fiction, on the other hand, isn’t as easy to pin down as nonfiction.

This is because a good story is a complicated blend of different themes, subgenres, and tropes, whereas nonfiction tends to be more static. However, despite the difficulty of assessing fiction’s different topics (because there are far too many), there are three main themes across all genres that consistently sell: 1) murder, 2) romantic relationships, and 3) coming of age.

These three things, especially when combined, tend to be what the majority of readers gravitate towards. Keep in mind, art is subjective—popularity does not inherently denote quality, and quality does not necessitate popularity. In other words, if you don’t see your favorite genre or topic on this list, don’t take it too personally.

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Article originally Published in the February / March 2022 Issue: New & Upcoming.

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