So right at the moment I am reading a book which has got pretty rave reviews, both from the press and from bloggers. I can’t say that the blurb of the book made me want to pick it up when I first saw it although it also didn’t sounds like the worst possible idea. It was really my fellow bloggers love for it that made me pick it up. If I’d completely hated the idea of it then I still wouldn’t have wanted to read it, but that wasn’t the case. Anyway I’m about halfway through this book right now and I can’t say I’m especially impressed. I don’t like the characters and it has a slightly chick-litty air to it (I have no particular problem with chick-lit, but I don’t read much of it, and really when I read it I want yo know that that’s what I’m reading). Even though I haven’t finished it it seems to have a familiar formula to it and I kind of know what to expect (I of course could still be wrong).
Anyway I’m not posting a review here, hat can wait until I’m finished. It’s just it got me wondering about what effect hype can have on the reading of a book, or even just choosing (or not) to read a book. I mean this book I pretty much picked up because of the hype. It’s something I’ve done before and often I find myself disappointed. I wonder if really the book is at the level I am reading it or if I expect so much from the book that there is little hope that my experiences will meet up to my expectations?
I’ve had experiences of people not reading books because they don’t want to be part of the crowd, and I’ve read and loved books which have later become the big thing. I can’t imagine not reading something simply because it is popular, after all there must be a reason for people loving it. I do wonder if I would still have loved the books I loved and read before the hype- some of my favourite books- if I had been responding to the hype, or are the books really speaking for themselves? After all I have loved books after the hype too.
Of course there is also something nice about being involved in hype. I’m a big Harry Potter fan. I visit forums, I watch all the films, and criticise them. I’ve even met up with fellow Potter fans, and I was only prevented from going to a release party because of illness, it really gives a sense of belonging, is that part of what I love about Harry? I don’t think so but I do wonder.
You may also want to read my past musings on the effects of negative reviews and blogger responsibility.
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- J.K. Rowling (lucybirdbooks.wordpress.com)
- Film of the book: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (part 1) (lucybirdbooks.wordpress.com)