Thursday, September 4, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: Peer Pressure

A Thursday meme suggested by JM:
I was looking through books yesterday at the shops and saw all the Twilight books, which I know basically nothing about. What I do know is that I’m beginning to feel like I’m the *only* person who knows nothing about them.
Despite being almost broke and trying to save money, I almost bought the expensive book (Australian book prices are often completely nutty) just because I felt the need to be ‘up’ on what everyone else was reading.
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?

Actually, I have. It was with the Harry Potter series. Several years ago I was getting tired of listening to "Harry Potter" this, and "Harry Potter" that and even claims of it being better than The Lord of the Rings! I had seen the books read by all sorts of people on the train and finally I decided to break down and read the first one. I wasn't very impressed, having grown up with Roald Dahl I didn't think it compared. However, friends and co-workers kept on pushing me to read the others...and I did. I found I liked some. If I didn't succumb to the pressures of reading something insanely popular, I wouldn't have found enjoyment in the latter half of the series. Of course, that may not happen in every case.

I'm just starting out as a reviewer (and I'm certainly not a professional reviewer) but I'm pretty sure it will be helpful to keep up on current trends. And I do find that exploring something just slightly outside my comfort area can be exciting. However, I think that it shouldn't force you to read something, just because the guy next to you is doing so.


Smilingsal said...

I don't think reviewers should let the tail wag the dog. The industry should in no way have a say in what we read.

Anonymous said...

Some good points there.

Kanadani said...

RE: smilingsal

I don't think I meant to imply that the industry should tell us what we should read. I was thinking more along the lines that if we don't take a risk and read something a little outside our norm we may miss out on some new experiences. Even finding out you hate the book or genre is one new experience you have gained from trying something new.

Rabscuttle said...

Misssssssster Potter...

I caved in and read the first Potter book after insane amounts of pressure...from my Mom. :D I enjoyed them and unlike SOME smash hit novel sets *cough*WheelofTime*cough* she ended it. I appreciate that almost as much as I appreciate the writing.

I felt pressure to read the Da Vinci Code, but never got around to it.