Pressured? No. Curious? Probably. When I see a book getting a lot of buzz, then I admit that I'm curious about it. I might read a few reviews. See what the premise is. See why certain people feel it is so "great" and all. And if I trust a person--really trust a person--then I'll probably want to read it myself. But pressure to conform? Not really. Think about how incredibly boring the blogging world would be if all us book bloggers just reviewed the same titles over and over and over again. Even if there were thirty or fifty big and buzzy books each year, it would still be too much repetition. You'd reach a certain point where you'd be "enough already!!" Like when a song gets too much play time. So there is such a thing as too much buzz. And the buzzier it gets, the higher the expectations, the bigger the fall if it's disappointing.
I was looking through books yesterday at the shops and saw all the Twilight books, which I know basically nothing about. What I do know is that I’m beginning to feel like I’m the *only* person who knows nothing about them.
Despite being almost broke and trying to save money, I almost bought the expensive book (Australian book prices are often completely nutty) just because I felt the need to be ‘up’ on what everyone else was reading.
Have you ever felt pressured to read something because ‘everyone else’ was reading it? Have you ever given in and read the book(s) in question or do you resist? If you are a reviewer, etc, do you feel it’s your duty to keep up on current trends?
As a reviewer, if I know a book is getting tons of coverage, lots of buzz, being reviewed on dozens and dozens of blogs, then I don't feel pressure to write up a review of my own. I'd probably feel slightly more pressure to get to other books first, the ones that aren't being talked about. I'd be more likely to gush about the underdogs.
That's not to say that I wouldn't review the other. Consider Breaking Dawn. I was going to write a review of it no matter what. But that isn't because Stephenie Meyer is/was a big name. A so-called MUST READ. It's because I wanted to read the book. That I'd enjoyed (for the most part) the others in the series.
Here's the key. If I'm not interested in a given book--whether it's a "nobody" or a "somebody" in the field, then I won't read it. Especially if it's an adult book. A so-called "literary" book. A stuffy, pretentious book. I'm more prone to giving YA books a chance. But only those YA books I have access to. If I'm not hooked by page 50, then I'm not going to be "pressured" to complete it.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews