Seriously. I talk to people who like to read, but aren't writers about stuff like dystopian, thriller, steampunk, paranormal romance and all I get back are blank stares. What are you even talking about?
I asked a question on my Facebook page about which speculative fiction genres people liked best. I listed all sorts of stuff like space opera, epic fantasy, hard science fiction, etc. No one answered.
I wondered if it hadn't shown up in the newsfeed or something. My son pointed out that he didn't understand the question, or the answers (and he's a pretty smart guy). Oh. Hadn't thought of that.
Sure, people understand the big categories romance, mystery, historical, science fiction, etc. But they don't really care about the labels we writers are so anxious to give our work. They just want to read the books they like to read. At least that's been my experience.
Of course, we need to care about what genre we're writing and what the audience expectations are for that genre and stuff like that. But when it comes to interacting with readers, remember what they really want is a good book. Don't pigeonhole yourself too much. You never know who might pick up your book and decide that's the kind of thing they like to read, even if they've never read anything like it before.
And isn't that just what we're after?