Discussion: Do You Feel Pressured to Read Hyped Books?

discussion-post-2

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”
― Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood.

I’ve only been blogging for a little over a month, but I’m already feeling though my reading list is whittled down to books I’ve seen on other people’s blogs.  Naturally, that means I primarily read very hyped books. It’s easy to see the trickle down effect:  publishers send out their most promising releases to big name bloggers, whose excitement is so infectious it has me piling the shopping cart with orders.  While this is absolutely awesome as I’ve discovered so many titles I love this way, it also make me want to take a step back and ask: should I try and give other books a chance? I’ll weigh the pro’s and cons of reading these popular titles below.

yay

The awesome reasons why I can’t help but add them to my Kindle.

  • Large Fandoms:  There’s little else more pitiable than finishing a book you love and discover there’s no one else to share the joys with.  Look at Cassie Clare’s legion of fans, or all the beautiful tumblr posts dedicated to Sarah J Maas – I always look on with envy wishing I could love those books more so I could join in.  The great thing about popular books is the sheer amount of people who you can fangirl with, all at a tweet away!
  • Blog Commenting/Social Aspect:  I love browsing other people’s blogs and commenting, but I admit I find it hard to say anything meaningful about their post if I haven’t read the book before.  In fact, I admit I don’t read reviews of books I haven’t read very closely, in fear of being spoiled.  With popular books, as everyone is reviewing them, you know you’ll have things to say about a lot of blog posts.

  • SEOs:  As a fledging blog, any search engine hits on the website makes me giddy and happy.  My most popular blog posts views-wise have been massive hits: Throne of Glass, Red Queen, The Wrath and The Dawn, AEITA etc… Keeping that in mind, I am a bit more biased to reviewing these books – so sue me.
  • Buyer’s Confidence:  Sure, there are some popular books I didn’t care for (Throne of Glass comes to mind *hides*) But by and large, I tend to agree with the adoring public.  With books with great exposure, I always know what I’m getting into, and I have read so many wonderful titles this year by just hearing word of mouth e.g. Uprooted, Red Rising.

nay

The reasons why I feel I should attempt to branch out.

  • People over Sheeple:  It’s sort of hilarious watching 10 reviews of the same book pop up on your feed all at once, I know that part of that is because of ARC review due dates and such.  Nonetheless, when a popular book is first released, I confess I have difficulties discerning between different blog posts as we usually love and dislike similar things.  Making a unique comment for each of these posts? A nightmare for my gray and sparkless brain.
  • All Those Under Appreciated Titles:  I weep for all those books I will never learn about because of the inordinate spotlight given to their peers. I am lazy, I like to just take a peek at twitter or GR lists to find my next reads, but as recs are usually limited to books many people read – there are so many underappreciated fandoms.  Basically, I need to get out of my comfort zone and actively search for books *le gasp*
  • Books Not Living Up To The Hype:  Woes is this terrible disappointment, see Throne of Glass again (I will be forever bitter about this one, why do you lie to me, beautiful cover?).  I usually pick out books I normally would not read due to the surrounding hype – usually with disastrous results.  I should really learn *sniff*

What do you guys think?  Has blogging changed your reading habit?  What was the last under-hyped books you read and loved?

49 thoughts on “Discussion: Do You Feel Pressured to Read Hyped Books?

  1. The only thing I would say that has changed for me since becoming a blogger is that I read a lot more recent books! I would only ever read a book published the year I read it when I got it as a Christmas present. Unfortunately now all of the older books I have on my TBR have fallen by the wayside!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is true, I feel that I read so many recent release nowadays. In fact all of my blog posts have featured books published in the last 5 years. I will definitely have to look at older books I have not read, like some classics or standalone novels.

      Thanks for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. *nodnod* These are all important points. I’m trying to comb through my recent bookshelf and the proportion of hyped books is really high, but I didn’t LOVE all of them as much as everyone else seemed to. I think the hype pressure only really gets me when it’s a new release and everyone is flailing and pointing to it. Whereas if it’s an older book or fandom, like ToG or Divergent or whatnot, I’m totally chill and sitting back.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s hard to resist the hype when everyone is tweeting or posting about it, though. Plus, shiny covers! I do get wary of the hype though because it builds up the book too much for me.

      I missed the Divergent hype, but now that no one on the blogging world is really talking about it anymore – I have no desire to read it. I’m so fickle haha.

      Like

      • In some ways it’s good that you missed the huge Divergent hype. After hearing so much about how great it was, the book fell short of what I was expecting. I continued to read the rest of the series, but soon found out that each book after Divergent was worse than the one before it.

        I feel like after an author writes a book that attracts lots of people and creates a lot of hype they are somewhat “forced” to write more to feed the need of their massive fandom, which I believe takes away from their writing.

        There is also a good side to hyped up books, as some of them are actually very good. Throne of glass is one in particular that I loved reading. The bottom line here is that others cannot possibly know if you will or will not like a book that they have read, only you know that. So dont read a book just because it’s hyped, but instead read books that you are interested by the plot or the characters.

        —Aditi

        Like

  3. When I first joined Goodreads, I mostly read and/or reviewed the same YA book releases as my Goodreads friends. After a few months, I missed reading all over the place like I used to.

    I realised that I needed a book blogging style that suited me – so I now limit my YA review requests and have a split focus between old and new books; adult and YA books. It’s a weird mix it but I enjoy it. My book blogger friends/community became a bit more eclectic too.

    A few YA book blogger friends who do love hyped releases but still miss reading obscure books – deal with dilemma by choosing a specific day of the week/month where they recommend/review a book outside of the hype. I found that joining specific book challenges, buddy reads or themed clubs that interest me – are fantastic too. It helps diversify my YA reading/reviewing habits and the blog comes alive with interesting discussion too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great points Glaiza, I miss reading whatever the heck I want as well – but between Netgalley ARCs and all of the books that bloggers have recommended, my old favourites like Juliet Marillier and Cat Valente have not been getting much love lately.

      I will need to take a leaf from your book to bring more balance into my life. I also noticed my adult book reads have tapered off ever since I started blogging, too. Mainly because YA books are so much less time consuming for the most part and I always feel that I have to have two reviews in reserve.

      I saw the diversity challenge on your blog’s sidebar and it looks like a great way to bring more spice into my reading life. Thanks for the suggestion!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You are spot on with this. I often fall into the hype as well. I also didn’t really like Throne of Glass. Crown of Midnight, too. It was just OK for me. But for some reason, because of the hype, it makes me want to continue on with the series. It’s like I have this fear admitting to myself that MAYBE the series is just not for me.

    I did recently pick up a lesser known book at the bookstore that was on sale for $6. I read it, loved it, and reviewed it. The views for that review are about 1/10 of the views for my Crown of Midnight review. I’m ok with that though. It’s fun to discover hidden gems every once and a while :).

    Liked by 2 people

    • I always feel like I’m alone with not getting ToG, so I’m always happy to see someone else who thinks the same haha. But yesss, I totally want to push onto the rest of the series as well i) due to all the love that the later books are getting and ii) the gorgeous covers.

      It’s always nice to find a hidden gem with a small fandom, plus, you can help promote it!

      Like

  5. You make some really good points here! As a new blogger I too feel pressure to keep up to date with these hyped titles – though at the same time I am glad – I am currently at university so the majority of my year is spent in a bubble, until the breaks roll around and I rejoin humanity. As such, I am so so behind on all of the things. TV, movies, and books (I’m still on season 1 of Orphan Black D:). I first started reading book blogs a few months ago and from that I found Uprooted, All The Bright Places etc (pretty much my whole TBR let’s be real) and for that I am grateful: for me these all lived up to the hype, and they reignited my love of books and made me want to join the fantabulous bookish community.

    I don’t read anywhere near as much for pleasure as I did once upon a time, so buyer confidence is a big thing for me. I don’t want to waste the precious free time I do have on lack lustre titles.I have found a few bloggers whose reviews I find often line up pretty on par with my own, so I do consider their reactions, good and bad, when approaching books. On the flip-side though, exactly as you pointed out, there are probably so many wonderful books I have yet to get my hands on, just because they don’t really show up in many TBR lists. Ugh. It is definitely a dilemma.

    One thing I definitely do enjoy is reading galleys. I will be honest, the majority of galleys I start I don’t finish. There are not as many diamonds out there in the rough as I’d like, but every now and then one sucks me in and I am so glad I read it, as opposed to picking up a hyped book sitting on my TBR. The best example I can think of is Risk by Fleur Ferris. I loved that book so so much, and have been pushing it on everyone haha.

    Great discussion post!
    Siobhan

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ikr, there’s simply not enough time in my life for everything *cries* I have all these tv shows on the line up begging to be watched but blogging has pretty much eaten all my free time. I hope to learn to balance things soon.

      Yes, with so many books in the world & how slow I am with reading, it’s essential that I don’t read too many misses (especially as I try to finish all books I pick up). I often look to a few bloggers for recommendations as well, but as they are big names and often get to promote large titles, that’s what I end up reading haha.

      I actually have not had too much experience reading galleys, but I’m glad to hear the experience has been great for you!

      Thanks for commenting Siobhan!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Definitely some thought-provoking comments! I never even thought about whether or not my book choices are affected by the hype. I guess to degree they are, but I also have a friend who works in a small bookstore who recommends books, and I tend to troll Goodreads and Amazon quite extensively. But the lack of fandom aspect is always hard! There is nothing better than fan-girling (or fanboying) it out with someone who is just as passionate as you about a novel/series!
    The Book Worm Blogg

    Liked by 1 person

    • Some of my favourite book series are fandomless, sigh, the pain! But then I guess it’s then up to us to post about and push our favourite reads on people. After all, that’s essentially the point of blogging haha.

      Thanks for commenting!

      Like

  7. I do often read hyped books, because they’re the ones that pop up on my dash the most. I think I read as many non-hyped books as I do hyped ones, but not because I see them on blogs. Those ones I read because I saw them in a bookstore or got them as a gift or something along those lines. And yes, my posts that do the best are the ones that are reviewing big, well known books. Cinder, the Selection, Fangirl, those are all the ones that I got the biggest amount of views.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I need to get off Kindle store and browse physical bookstores more often. You’re right that bookstores are much more accessible for finding a relatively unknown reads… though I usually fall into the trap of pretty covers haha.

      Reviewing big name books has its perks too, at least you know that with all the pageviews, you’re definitely helping someone make their decision about a purchase!

      Like

  8. I’m definitely reading more newer books, and some hyped books, but I don’t feel pressure and I’ve always felt a tendency not to read books everyone is raving about, mainly because I start to switch off and lose interest hearing the same title repeated over and over. I let how the book sounds from the blurb guide me and like you try not to read too much about books on my TBR until they are read. I will collect links to blogs who have reviewed those books though so I can see how my opinion fits with common opinion afterwards. For example I recently reviewed one that I really struggled with, I found it hard going and the writing amateur, but when I read everyone else’s reviews they were 5*…go figure!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, media burnout is totally a thing, I actually chose not to read TFIOS because of all the raves.

      Collecting links of blog reviews before a purchase is totally a smart decision, but with smaller titles the reviews are so hard to find!

      I understand your frustration, there are times where I read a book and go ‘What that’s it?’ making me wonder whether I read the same thing everyone else did haha.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I admit to some curiosity to check out hyped books, but since I review predominantly adult SFF and read most of my YA on the side, there’s definitely less of that pressure to pick up all the hot titles and review right away. And since usually I wait until my library gets it in audiobook format, there’s usually a good amount of time that goes by before I end up picking up the hyped book, giving me the chance to check out what everyone is saying. Some super hyped books end up crashing and burning so I know to stay away, while others that seem to live up to all the praise and those are the ones I usually end up reading and reviewing. So far the community hasn’t steered me wrong yet, I loved Shadow and Bone, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, The Wrath and the Dawn, etc. And yep, even your bane Throne of Glass 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do feel that adult SFF blogging is a lot less affected by the hype. Ever since I started blogging my kindle has been overtaken by YA, I hope to drift back to adult SFF soon as it was originally my go to genre before the internet happened.

      I have the worst attention span with audiobooks, I’ve tried so many times but unfortunately I’m not one of those people that can multitask haha.

      I am too crushed by my dislike for ToG, I vow to read the rest of the series to change this 😉

      Like

  10. I avoided reading a ton of hyped books for years. I’d wait months and months after hyped books were released to read them. But then I got on Twitter and I’ve started to realize that I’ve been giving into hype and I’m not too impressed with myself over it. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved most hyped books I’ve read but not enough to hype them myself. Part of me feels like its my own fault because I follow some of the ‘bigger’ book bloggers out there. Makes me want to step back and find bloggers more at my level (aka more newbie bloggers, etc). So I don’t feel as pressured or put off by the bigger names.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I guess big name bloggers feel more obligated to review the year’s big releases as they get sent review copies – whereas small fries like me have more flexibility to read whatever I want. I just wish I was more initiative about finding new, fresh titles.

      Thanks for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Yeah, sometimes I don’t read hyped books bc people end up spoiling them for me /: A book that hasn’t lived up to my hype is TFIOS, that’s why I also don’t want to read Paper Towns or Looking for Alaska. I do love the fandoms though, they are so funny and I love their passion.

    Also, I love your header/banner/thing! Where do you design them?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I confess to having never read John Green’s books, I know they are insanely popular and slowly taking over the world – but they sound very much not my thing haha. But you’re right, fandoms are amazing – I wish for a book fandom to grow as large as Harry Potter’s did one day! (though I suppose ASOIAF/GoT has a giant fandom as well, and I love that series)

      I made it myself on photoshop using a picture I purchased on an image stock website. I highly recommend Nosegraze’s website for blog design tips.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh man “People over Sheeple”. I like that.

    I mostly read hyped books because I’m curious as to what’s got them all hyped up, you know. But obviously it could be a hit or a miss. Though I do agree about all the reviews coming up on the same book, that can be tough to comment on them all sometimes. I guess it adds to the hype, which is what publishers want anyways hahah.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hee, I’m glad you like it!

      I know, the bottomline about the hype is that it’s not all bad – publishers love it, we obviously love it otherwise we wouldn’t be reading these books, and our readers must love it if they are visiting.

      Thanks for commenting 😀

      Like

  13. I think this is a great discussion post, and I can agree with you. Since joining Goodreads, I’ve read more popular books/hyped books. Getting sucked into the hype and to be part of it can be so contagious! And more so, even if they get negative reviews, sometimes I get curious and want to find out for myself if it was as awful as someone says it is!

    In extension to your Nays, I think a pressure is to like a hyped book. I think this pressure is somewhat better now, but when Twilight was at its peak in hype, I was a lone black sheep against a lot of people who liked it. And they were very passionate and defensive about the book! (Not that it bothered me, haha, at the time I loved debating.)

    Good post, Aentee! I like these discussion posts. c:

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the post! I agree that GR contributes a lot to the hype as well as all of those must-read lists offer the same titles haha.

      I remember when Twilight became popular when I was in high school, I was trying so hard not to rain on the parade of my friends and classmate by going on about how much I dislike it lmao.

      Like

  14. Oh my gosh, this has been such an issue for me ever since I really started getting into reading book blogs – I always find it so difficult to comment with something meaningful if I haven’t actually read any of the majorly hyped-up books (I think “Great post! I haven’t read any of these!” is a bit of a cop-out, tbh. 😉 ). But still, it’s tough to balance hyped books with books that I just personally find interesting and want to read – I’m still trying to figure out how to find the happy medium, you know?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I still think it’s important to read the popular books just so that you know what everyone else is talking about. I still don’t know how to find the balance either, but maybe we will when blogging does not seem so overwhelming!

      Like

  15. Yup, I totally agree! I don’t actually mind at all though, because I’d rather know what everyone is reading. xD I’m tooootally nosey like that. bUt seriously, last year I just settled down and read as many of the popular/famous books as I could possibly GET so I could basically join in every conversation. Because your’e sooo right! It’s hard to comment/chat about books you haven’t read.
    I do feel bad for the under-appreciated titles, though. *sigh* Especially the amazingly good ones. Like even Challenger Deep got a mini-flail when it came out but has basically sailed into silence and IT’S SO GOOD AND DESERVES SO MUCH MORE LOVE.
    But I get a lot of obscure Australian review books so, hehe, luckily I do kind of branch out…but I notice the books I review that no one has read usually die. So that’s another incentive to read the popular books. (But omg, I hate it when my bloglovin’ feed is full of the SAME REVIEWS. -_- So hard to comment.)

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am actually in the process of reading all of the popular books that is incomplete just so I can join in on the blogging conversation as well haha. So I am definitely a slave to the hype. I must look into Challenger Deep!

      I suppose part of that is because they don’t have anything to say as they haven’t read the book, so it makes it awkward to leave a comment haha. I also need to read more home grown stuff, for sure!

      Like

  16. Such an amazing discussion post. I agree with every point you made, and I think blogging changed the way I pick my books and put them on my TBR, and choose to buy, or not. I think it’s both good, and bad. Good, because well, I get to know titles and books I maybe wouldn’t have been attracted to, at first, and discover such amazing things and authors. But bad, too, because it’s hard not to get influenced by reviews, or to think twice before getting a title that’s a little bit underappreciated, or not much talked about 🙂
    Such a great post, loved reading it! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah I wish I could find a happy middle ground between popular and books that I just want to read in my TBR pile one day! But I do not regret buying into the hype in most cases, I have found so many fantastic books. And to be honest, I call the books listed ‘popular books’ but I think no one in my IRL world knows what they are — just popular within the blogging circles haha. So I can still seem all hip and obscure when I recommend it to my friends and family 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  17. That’s a really interesting post you wrote there. And good to read other peoples comments too. I have been blogging for just over a year. I read some of the hyped books, but not that many. You can get a good idea of how the books will be because there are so many reviews of them. I prefer to write reviews of books that haven’t been hugely reviewed, especially when I find fantastic reads. It promotes the lesser known Authors and I am constantly surprised by the lesser read / known books. Saying that my favourite Author is Sophie Kinsella, and I wil read all her books, no matter how many reviews and hype she has.
    Amanda.

    Like

    • I hope I will find your zen one day haha, I just started so I am just following the crowd with my reads at the moment – mostly so I can join in bloggong conversations.

      Sophie Kinsella is a solid performer, I am always so entertained by her books!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I absolutely love this discussion post, Aentee! (And your graphics and blog in general!) I do read a lot of hyped books the blogosphere and book community deem to be fantastic but not until years later… when the hype has pretty much settled down. I’m a pretty odd reader in that respect. And I definitely think blogging has changed me as a reader. I add so many books to my TBR weekly, so I’m more hesitant to pick up titles now. Also, I feel like I read more critically. Again, lovely post! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Summer, I love the graphics you make & your own blog posts as well so it means a lot ❤

      Wow you have excellent self-control, I can't help but purchase the buzzed about books even prior to their release date haha.

      Excellent point, I have also found I became a pickier reader as well, but I suppose that's a topic for another discussion post hee 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Oh, this IS an interesting topic. For me, the answer will always be no. I mean — yes, I DO read hyped books… but not really because I feel as though I’m pressured into reading it. It’s always because I wanted to read them. Great discussion post! 🙂

    Like

    • Good on you for knowing your own mind! I am kind of on a reading spree of these popular books because I only just started blogging, so I want to familiarise myself with what everyone else is raving about hahah. Thanks for your comment 🙂

      Like

  20. Yeah, my biggest nay about reading hyped books is that they rarely live up to the expectations I develop. I mean, if you see 23423 five star reviews for a book, you can’t help but think it’ll be amazing. More than often, I end up disagreeing with everyone else simply because I had impossible standards for the book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree, I’m reading a really popular contemporary book at the moment and I am being bored out of my mind — but it has super great review, it’s kind of awkward haha.

      Like

  21. I found myself nodding along to all of your points in this post! I find that I’m usually really bad with acquiring hyped books so even if I wanted to read them, I usually can’t. Welp. I usually read them after all the excitement has died down. And I 100% agree with you on the commenting aspect of reviews. Unless I know that I love a certain blogger’s reviews and voice and that they don’t spoil, I’ll usually skip over their reviews and like the post instead. While it’s all great commenting, I don’t find much meaning in leaving, “Sounds cool! Will definitely check it out!” on every post I read.

    Like

  22. I totally agree! I am new to the blogging world as well and find that my to-be-read lists have shifted based on what others have read. I think this is both good and bad. I have gotten some awesome recommendations from fellow bloggers which has been great! But I haven’t gotten to some books I’ve been meaning to read for a while.

    Ideally, I would like to find a balance between hyped and non-hyped books. Its fun to read hyped books (I’m a big Harry Potter fan), but I also enjoy finding hidden gems that not many people have read.

    Fun post! Thanks for starting the discussion!

    Like

    • I know, I wish I could be witty about books I dislike! Those reviews go viral lmao.

      Yeah I know what you mean, when I first started I went crazy requesting on all the books on netgalley. Then I read them and want to DNF– but I must push on cos I must review. I am a victim of hype (and also my own greed) 😄

      Thanks for all the comments ❤

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s