The Bookshelf Corner

A creative space for all things books and writing….

Book Hype: Is It Good Or Bad?

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Everyone has their own preliminary reasons for being curious about a particular book and even more deeper reasons for deciding to read it.

We come across new books through our own violation and discovery, by recommendation, or by word of mouth. Each of these has a way of pre-establishing a set of expectations that could possibly be proven right or disappointingly proven wrong. It’s made me wonder about how hype over a book can influence our reading choices and the reading experience.

I’ve always been a skeptic about hype when it comes to books, largely because I’m very picky about what books I read. I always lean toward the possibility that a hyped book will be bad if I read it. I know, that’s defeatist thinking but that’s how I felt many many years ago.

But over the years I become ‘laxed on that way of thinking and broaden my horizons to books I never thought I’d read. My love for books far outweighed any hype. However, change doesn’t come overnight – sometimes it’s a slow transformation. For example, there was a lot of high praise about The Fault In Our Stars by John Green – both the book and movie. It made me insanely curious, especially ’cause I knew John Green from YouTube (first) and think him a really cool guy. So I bought the book and a two of his other books with good intentions and the hope that they would be just as amazing as everyone said. That was years ago and I still haven’t read any of them. It was a combination of loss of interest and an ever growing TBR list. Perhaps one day I’ll revisit these books and read them.

There have been a few books that turned out as hyped (in my opinion). I bought Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen on a whim because I had been seeing it circulating around blogs. It sounded interesting enough that I got over my skepticism about it and decided to read it. I really liked this book. It far exceeding any expectations I had and I’m now looking forward to reading the rest of the series hopefully throughout the rest of 2017.

I have felt the adverse effects of negative hype from books I’ve already read. (For example) I’m not afraid to admit this: I loved the Twilight books. But notice I used the past tense – “loved.” Well that’s because I let others opinions influence my own. It wasn’t until years later that I reconciled that everyone has their own opinion and their own tastes in books – it’s a part of life and being human. I shouldn’t feel bad about liking a certain book that others didn’t (and neither should you!). I may not be able to say wholeheartedly that I love the Twilight books but I know they’ll always hold a special place in my book nerd loving heart.

So what am I getting at?

Book hype has its pros and cons. But, ultimately, read because you love to read. Read for the brilliance of stories, the interesting, dynamic characters, the gorgeous book covers, the stunning worlds built, and all the feels that coming with reading. You’ll either want to read a book or not. You’ll either end up liking a book or not. Everyone reads the same thing differently.

But whatever the hype, as long as you’re reading, well, then that’s all that matters.

What are your thoughts on book hype? I’d love to hear your opinions on the topic.

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