1. In your mind, you've become an expert on all things related to the genre.
Let's take Regency romance as an example. I've done zero research on this setting, but after reading dozens of books, I confidently mumble to myself "that wouldn't happen," or "he would never consider someone so outside his class," or "did that road even exist?" Yes. I'm a recovering genre-know-it-all, and I've stepped away from Regency romance for a few years.
2. The same character names appear in multiple books by different authors, and you can no longer keep this Kate straight from that Kate.
It's true. You read one genre, and for whatever reason, the same heroine or hero name comes up again and again. I've read books where both the hero and heroine had the same names as another book I'd just read. Time to read another genre!
3. You not only know what's going to happen, you're "advising" the characters throughout the book.
"Don't be a dummy, Gretchen. Leo is lying to you about the ex-girlfriend because he's scared that you're the one and he can't handle it. He'll call her in a few chapters. Just wait and see, or, better yet Gretch, don't wait and see. Go on a vacay. You're going to need one."
It's really bad when you've already advised Gretchen by page six. Step away. Open a classic.
4. Every title you've read in the last three months has been a riff on another.
Broken Memories. Memory Broken. To Break a Memory. Pieces of Memory. Memory in Pieces. Broken Memory Pieces.
5. You've exhausted reading all popular authors in the genre and their back lists.
Guilty! I had a Jodi Thomas infatuation about seven years ago, and trust me, I hunted down her entire back list. Stephanie Laurens? The same. When I find an author I like, I read all their books. When I've read them all, I'm usually burned out. For a year. Then I go back. :)
Do you ever find yourself overly invested in one genre? How do YOU know you need to read something else?
Have a great day!