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?