are we pressured to read certain books in the book community?

as a book blogger and a fellow member of the book community, most of my book-related decisions are based on what the book community is talking about in that moment. if people are sceaming about a certain book? i know damn well the least i’ll do is add it to my tbr. even when i’m in the bookstore, i look for books that i’ve heard about on the internet, and when i’m interested in something i’ve never heard of, i look it up on goodreads before buying it. which is totally different from what i used to do before joining this community.

sure, i used to hear about books from friends, but i was interested in reading something, i didn’t bother looking for other opinions. i just acquired the book and let myself discover what’s it about. i also didn’t feel the need to read recently released books, or hyped ones.

which leads me to question the kind of pressure the book community has on readers. only after reading olivia’s post about the controversy of hyped books (which i highly recommend you to read) did i realize that the internet has a huge impact on my reading decisions.

when i’m deciding what to read next, for example, and have to choose between a book that’s super hyped and that everyone talks about, and another one that i’ve only heard of once or that i have discovered myself, i’m more likely to choose the hyped one.

in fact, it has actually come to my attention that i read a lot of hyped books. and besides the fact that i read them to join everyone and rave about them too, and because i love to share my opinions on things that i love, i can’t deny that i do feel like i need to read that book because everyone is talking about it, not because i’m particularly interested in it.

i can list so many books that i jumped into basing myself solely on the hype, without knowing ANYTHING about the book.

and sometimes i feel pressured to read something even though i am not particularly interested in it. not only do i feel the need to do so, but i have to read it during a certain time, because my interest dies as soon as the hype does, which is stressful.

on the other hand, is it really pressuring if it allows us to discover new books? i can’t deny that thanks to the hype around certain releases did allow me to come across many amazing books, improve my reading habits and read more diverse books by diverse authors. which is really wonderful.

so i’m asking myself: is the book community pushing readers to read certain books, or is it pressuring them to do so? when does it stop becoming recommendation and start becoming pressure? are we forced to read hyped books or is it our own choice?

(soooo many questions.)

i can’t come up with any definite answer to these questions, because while the pressure is real, the discovering-new-favorite-books-thanks-to-the-book-community part is real too. and no one would put my life in danger if i don’t get to read that book in particular, so it’s basically my own decision. you see how confusing this is?

what do you think? are we pressured to read certain books in the community? why (or why not)?

37 Replies to “are we pressured to read certain books in the book community?”

  1. I love this discussion! (And thank you so so much for shouting out my post.💘) I’m in agreement with you on this!

    Before I joined the book blogging community, I discovered all the books I read either from people irl (back when my friends used to read…I’m the only one who really still does) or by just scanning the library shelves and picking one that intrigued me. Now, every time I go to the library, I use my TBR to decide what books I’m going to get, and my TBR is directly a result of hearing about books from blogs, especially hyped ones.

    I feel like at the end of the day, it’s our choice to let the pressure affect us!! We just have to remember that no one is necessarily going to care if we read or don’t read a certain book. I try not to overthink it too much because then I start reading way too much into it haha!

    This is a lovely post😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. THANK YOU!! (and your post was amazing!!)
      yes i agree. it’s our choice and no one would question it. i try to read what i’m reaaallly interested in reading, but i do fail at that sometimes 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. OMG yeahhh there are so, so many books that I’ve only picked up because of the book community, and now I’m just questioning whether or not this is a good aspect of my reading life?? (throwback to my child days when I devoured Every Book I Laid My Eyes on. rip.) There *are* certain books that I’ve really loved, so I guess it’s a good thing? But now I probably won’t pick up that many books that aren’t as hyped, you know?? So I might be missing out. AHH. Loved this post!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think its the hype that gets us hearing and seeing everyone loving a book makes me want to pick up a book. However, I’m finally at the stage where I read whatever I’m feeling like reading. When I first discovered booktubers and book bloggers I wanted to read what everyone else was reading because they made it sound so amazing! I’ve learned more about my reading tastes though so I tend to pick up fewer books from influencers these days and instead only pick up the ones that really interest me.
    With that being said I do have people whose opinion align with my own and that for sure makes me excited to read certain books. The pressure feel though is mostly gone
    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. (i’m so sorry idk what happened) I WAS SAYING
        IM SO GLAD YOU GOT TO THIS POINT! it’s amazing!! i’m trying to do this too but i fail a lot ahahahaha
        THANK YOUU 💓

        Like

  4. Love this discussion!! I completely agree that we can feel pressured to read certain books, but at the same time I do think we create that pressure ourselves, rather than the other way around.
    We face so much guilt around reading hyped books which creates that pressure, where it doesn’t necessarily have to be there.
    It’s definitely true that most of the books I’ve discovered due to hype (e.g. Caraval, This Savage Song, To All The Boys etc) have become some of my favourites, so I’m definitely grateful for the push there haha.
    I’m now trying to be more conscious though, when it comes to hyped books, that I’m only adding it to my tbr/buying it if I’m genuinely interested – not just because it’s hyped.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank youu!!
      and yes, i agree that the pressure does come from ourselves. after all, nobody forces us to read those books.
      and same, i’m also trying to read underhyped books too. it’s such a great feeling when you come across an amazing book!!
      and YES! I LOVE TO ALL THE BOYS SO MUCH!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I feel like we’re pressuring ourselves more than anything else. I’ve never come across a book lover who so aggressively pushed me to read something that I didn’t want to (other than my dad, but that’s a totally different story). I feel like seeing everyone LOVE something so much makes us feel like we want that feeling, too. We want to know why something’s so “in”, and we end up pressuring ourselves to read something we normally might not. In the end, it all depends on every individual reader, I guess. I’ve tried to stay away from hyped books that I know I won’t like, but sometimes, I end up pressuring myself!

    ❤ Aimee @ Aimee, Always

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i agree! pressure does come from wanting to feel what others felt reading that book. and i guess yeah, that’s why it all comes from ourselves.
      i try to read underhyped books too! but sometimes hyped ones tempt me too much! 😂

      Like

  6. Great discussion! For me, I used to feel like I had to read these books; otherwise, I would get left behind. Especially when they dominate your timeline for months and you don’t understand the discussions. When I first started out at blogging, talking about and reading hyped books helped other people find my site. Which was great until I realised that I actually didn’t enjoy most of the books I was reading and ended up giving them rather negative reviews.

    But I do sometimes feel pressured to read previously hyped book, so I feel like I’m playing catch up to some of the major hyped books in the community. For example, I didn’t read the Shatter Me series until last year. I love Tahereh Mafi, but the original trilogy bores me. (and I feel like it’s a good example where the fandom made the book better). But the newer releases are a lot more interesting.

    Now, hype rarely entices me because of a lot of the time, I get disappointed. But I do like to see what’s trending every now and then to prove myself wrong and find some hyped books that are good.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Aahh I love this post so much, Maha!! I loved your question about recommendation versus straight-up pressure; I never thought about it that way but I definitely see it. For me, I base a lot of my reading on what the community says, because I want to read books I think I’m going to love, and hearing others’ thoughts on books helps me a lot! But I really resonated with what you said about how you knew of so many books because of the hype and didn’t actually know what they were about. I’m the same way, and though I think part of it is because I have a terrible memory, I’m just adding books to my TBR because of amazing things I heard about them and not necessarily because I’m excited about what the book is about!

    Anyways, what I’m trying to say is that I loved this discussion and really related to it 💖💖

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I certainly feel like we do! Especially when one’s stats seem to get a spike everytime you write about a popular/hyped/recently released book that everyone is raving about on their blogs and social media.
    One doesn’t have to follow any trends but it would be naive to say you can simply run from any external influence. I know I can’t!
    Wonderful post, Maha 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great post! I do think we feel a bit pressured. Whether it’s because of ARCs or if we just want to relate to everyone. I know some bloggers don’t care or pay attention, but I also know that I do. Probably too much. I think it’s kind of natural to want to read a book everyone is talking about.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This is such an amazing point!
    There are so many times I have felt pressured to review a certain book, or even just read it and then I am worried or stressed about giving my opinion in case it doesn’t align with everyone else’s. ARC’s are super difficult because you are expected to start setting the hype, and that has its own stress.
    Amazing post!
    -Emma 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you! ❤
      i understand the pressure you're feeling, and i do feel it myself sometimes. BUT YOU SHOULDN'T FEEL THE NEED TO READ SOMETHING IF YOU'RE NOT INTERESTED IN IT! even if everyone's reading it. that's okay! not everyone has the same tastes :))
      thank youu again!!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I totally feel you on this! I also feel like that’s the main reason for my reading slumps, when I read something that I feel like everyone absolutely LOVES but I kind of retreat into myself and question why I don’t like that book as much. But I agree that a lot of my favorite books I would have never known about without Goodreads, Twitter, etc. SO THE STRUGGLE IS VERY REAL AND NEVER ENDING

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES THE STRUGGLE IS STRESSING ME OUT AS WELL.
      i also feel you on the reading slump thing. it happened when i want to read something so bad because everyone else is reading it, but then not actually liking it and still forcing myself to finish it because, again, everyone read it.

      Like

  12. I love this discussion! Personally, I do feel like there is pressure to read certain posts. I took a year-long hiatus that I just ended last month and one of the reasons was because of that pressure. I felt like if I didn’t read and review the relevant books, no one would care. I definitely still read hyped books but now its because I’m genuinely interested in it instead of “this will get the most Instagram likes or most blog views”. I realized I was putting aside books I ACTUALLY wanted to read because of that.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. We don’t have to choose books in accordance with community’s opinions. We can choose books by ourselves. The most important is what WE will think about books, not what the OTHERS have thought about.

    But it’s an interesting article subject. ^^

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i mean i guess you’re right! but sometimes i think we want to join and be part of what everyone’s doing/reading, to share with them our personal experience with the book.
      thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

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