Book Haven

Reading Terms You Need To Know

Reading is often an educational process, no matter how seasoned the reader is. What a lot of people don’t realise going into reading is that there are a lot of reading terms out there that are often head-scratchers.

In this Book Haven post, we’ll be explaining what many of these reading terms are and what they mean. It will not contain a full list. Please consult the links throughout the post.

Reading Terms


There are now so many new genres out there, that some have their own terms. We will only be including a handful as there are so many. For the full list, please go here. These include:

  • Romantasy – romantic fantasy – sub-genre
  • Fratire – fraternity satire – sub-genre that surfaced in 2006
  • Metaparody – a parody of a parody
  • Tragicomedy – tragedy comedy – sub-genre

Romance Reading Terms

Many of these terms come from Romance Writers of Australia.

  • Spice – Sex scenes (another term for this is smut. Lemon is used mostly in fanfiction.)
  • Closed door – no sex scenes
  • Open door – sex scenes
  • Meet-Cute – characters when they meet for the first time
  • Bodice Ripper – a derogatory term for the romance genre – terms started in 1970s
  • BB – Book Boyfriend – think Edward Cullen or Jacob Black from Twilight
  • Enemies to Lovers – main characters start out of enemies but fall in love
  • Grumpy x Sunshine – One main character is grumpy while the other is always happy

Social Media Reading Terms

  • Bookstagram or Bookgram – Book + Instagram
  • GR – GoodReads
  • Nanowrimo – National Novel Writing Month
  • TBR or WTR – To Be Read of Want To Read
  • Booktok – Book + Tiktok


  • Mary Sue – Female character who is too perfect
  • Gary Stu – Male character who is too perfect


  • Plotter – A novel that is written based of a written guide
  • Pantser – No guide used to write the novel
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About Author

C.J. Hawkings has written for the now-defunct Entertainment website, Movie Pilot and the still functioning WhatCulture and ScreenRant. She prides herself as a truth seeker and will do (almost) anything for coffee or Coke No Sugar. Oh! And food!

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