BTT: Peer Pressure

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?

Just one day left in my Matrimony giveaway!

8 comments to BTT: Peer Pressure

  • I had a similar reaction to Harry Potter – avoided it for years, mostly because of all the uproar. Then when I finally read it, I enjoyed it much more than I expected to. I’ve also resisted reading “The Historian,” but mainly just because it’s so darn long.

  • Like you, I tend to avoid books that are getting tons of attention or appear on bestseller lists. Sales does not always equal quality (case in point: James Patterson), but you’re right that sometimes we miss out on good books when we avoid them for this reason.

    I read The Historian before it got really big, and I’m glad, because I think I would have been skeptical otherwise. I also almost missed out on Water for Elephants because it was on the bestseller list, but I read it when I ran out of books at my in-laws’ home and my MIL gave it to me, and I ended up loving it.

  • Bloggers’ reviews have given me so many new titles/authors to read that my TBR and Wish List is enormous now. However, some books that are just loved by some bloggers, I have tried and just did not care for such as The Historian and Water for Elephants. I tried both but just could not force myself to finish. On the other hand, there are books that I wouldn’t pick up normally but have loved such as The 19th Wife and Driving Sideways.

  • fyrefly

    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.

    I think that’s a great way to look at it, and it makes me feel much less guilty about skipping out on most ARCs in favor of my own giant personal TBR pile.

  • The author of Eat, Pray, Love was on Oprah (for the 2nd time!) the other day (Eric was channel surfing). You know, I sort of had wanting to read that book in the back of my head, but after seeing Oprah, I don’t think I’d really enjoy it. Way too many weepy women talking about their journey; I have a therapist, I don’t need to read that book 😉

  • I did not like Harry Potter.

  • I totally agree with your comments about bloggers. Since I’ve started into the blogging world I have found so many great books to read. I think this comes down to trusting the opinion of an actual person rather than the lists you find in newspapers and magazines.
    I don’t trust hype about books, and even though Oprah has chosen some good books (which I read prior to her featuring them) she also chooses books that I hate which take the world by storm. But are these necessarily good books to begin with or has Oprah’s name given them their bestseller status?

    This reminds me of my childhood when my mother constantly said “if everyone jumped off a bridge, would you?” I hated that phrase as a child, but now I see it’s relevance to just about all mainstream culture :)