Thursday, September 04, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: Peer Pressure

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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?

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.

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
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4 comments:

SmilingSally 12:55 PM  

I read for fun, so I do not follow trends.

Debi 2:41 PM  

"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."...That is such a good point, Becky! And one of the reasons I love your blog so much. I always discover great new finds here that I never hear about anywhere else!

Laura H 5:08 PM  

Becky I know what your saying about pressure. My friend let me borrow her copy of Breaking Dawn almost 4 weeks ago and I just finished it last night. Any other book I would have stopped sooner but the pressure to read it was there. I was not in the "mood" for this book and I should have never even picked it up. But I gave in to the pressure.

ng2000 2:56 PM  

Valuable resource of peer pressure news summaries: http://ng2000.com/ng2000bb/YaBB.pl?num=1221458001

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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

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I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

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I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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