Wednesday, April 8, 2015
“OMG! This book is AMAZING! You Have to Read It!” We have all heard this at least a dozen times in our reading lives. We have all finished a book that we read while there was a ton of hype going on around it and wondered, “What was all the hype about?” I have had this happen a few times in my reading life, and frankly, it sucks to feel like you are in the minority. This happens in all genres, from crime novels, to young adult fiction.
Recently, I began to ask myself if I (or anyone else) should read a new book that is being hyped up on YouTube, or just in general. I often ask myself, is it really worth it? Should I wait until after the hype has died down? This is often a question that I know I have not only asked myself, but as readers we all have asked ourselves at one point or another, right?
My opinion is that waiting until the hype dies down can be more beneficial than falling into the trap that the hype can create. The reason I say this is because, if you read the book at the height of its popularity, and you do not like it while others are raving about it, you may think you are missing something, or that you are left out of something perhaps.
One of the most vivid times that I have felt that I completely missed the boat on a book was when I read The Hunger Games. I remember reading the book shortly after the first movie came out, and while the hype was still fairly high on the whole series. It took me a short time to read the book, as it read fairly quickly, but when I finished the final page, I looked up at my parents and basically said, “I just do not get the hype.” I closed the book, and to this day, I am not sure I am going to finish the series. Now, I did not read it when the series first came out, and waiting was supposed to help me to enjoy it more (or so I thought), but in this case, it did not help me to enjoy it more.
There was a book I recently finished that I also waited for the hype around it to die down, and was very happy with the book. This was the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series by JR Ward. I had tried to read it many years ago when they first started, and they just did not speak to me. I was not in the right space for them. Well, I started the series again, and recently finished the 8th book in the series, loving it all the way through. To me, this is proof that if you wait for the hype to die down, it can let you, as the reader form their own opinions on a book (or series) that others are raving about while being able to be true to yourself and honest in your review without feeling like if your opinion does not fall in the “party line” that it will get you flamed on social media.
Hype surrounding a particular book can be great for sales, but as readers, sometimes we can give into the hype only to be disappointed, or feel unsatisfied. I think it is important to remember that, as readers, we can read what we want, when we want and still do not have to give into the hype if we do not want to. I personally do not like to read books during their “hype” period, but after. For me, it gives me a fresh outlook outside what other may think, which can be even more authentic when it comes to my review of the book.
On Reading Outside Your Comfort Zone
As readers, we all have our favorite genres. Some of us like mystery, others, Historical Fiction. Sometimes, there is a craving for other genres such as Young Adult, or even Erotica. What some readers don’t do is read outside their genre. This is simply not reading away from the genre they gravitate to each time they pick up or buy a book.
I am one of those people who did not like to read outside his favorite genre until recently. My genre of choice is Historical Fiction, specifically anything set in Medieval or Tudor England. There has always been something about that time period that has called to me. I have many books on my shelves from various authors that write only Historical Fiction, from Phillippa Gregory, to Sarah Bower, and others in between.
This does not mean I was not open to other genres, I simply did not think to look at them as frequently when I went to the library, or to a bookstore. I saw all kinds of genres at my disposal, and sometimes I contemplated picking them up but then would not find anything that really interested me, and I would default back to my go to genre.
Recently, I have made it my goal to read more books outside my “safe zone”, as I have come to call it. I have started to find some great authors such as Tess Gerritsen, Gillian Flynn, and even some good YA authors to boot. One of my new favorite genres to get me used to new and exciting authors is to read Japanese Manga/Graphic novels. I love reading them as palate cleansers in between larger books (and yes, I count them toward my Good Reads challenge) because the artwork is usually really good, and the stories are wonderful too. There are occasionally some bad apples, but you can get those in your chosen genre too, so in the end, there is no excuse to neglect other genres, or authors based on a safe zone that you may have built for yourself as a reader.
It can be difficult to read outside your favorite genre, whatever it may be, but I promise that if you open your mind, you will find some great authors that you would have never expected to find. That is what happened to me, and I am happy to say not only has my reading grown, but I have grown as a reader because I decided to embrace new and exciting authors and the works that they put out into the book world for us all to enjoy.