Have you ever felt pressured to read something because ‘everyone else’ was reading it? Have you ever given in and read the book(s) in question or do you resist? If you are a reviewer, etc, do you feel it’s your duty to keep up on current trends?
I have never felt pressured to read something because everyone else was, although I have often been curious as to what all the buzz was about. I read Da Vinci Code and Twilight to see what everyone was talking about, both good and bad, because I wanted to be able to have informed conversation. There are some books, though, that I know I will hate. Those I have no problem avoiding indefinitely, regardless of how many people talk about them. Case in point, “Eat, Pray, Love.” I read the first chapter through Dear Reader and knew then and there that there was no way I would actually read that book.
Sometimes avoiding things on the basis of popularity or buzz causes you to miss out on an enjoyable experience. I thought Harry Potter sounded so stupid when my mother and sister were reading it. I finally broke down and read it, but only because we were all on vacation and I finished all of the books I brought to read. I’m very glad I did read it, because I ended up loving Harry Potter and loving following his story. I also avoided The Historian for some time because it just seemed to be everywhere and that sort of annoyed me. When I finally did read it, I found it very enjoyable and, as with Harry Potter, I have reread it a few times.
As a book blogger I feel some responsibility to keep up with trends, because I can see that people are searching for information about certain books online. However, I am not going to read a book that is not appealing to me just to satisfy my reading public. There is another book blogger out there somewhere who DOES want to read the book, and google will help readers find them. I occasionally put priority on books from my TBR shelf if I know lots of people are searching for them, but don’t expect me to go out and buy Eat, Pray, Love. I think bloggers have a great power to introduce readers to books other than those they see constantly on the bestsellers lists, gems that they might have otherwise missed.
Are you someone who follows the reading trends, or do you ignore popular books on principle?