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?
Instant reaction: NO, after thinking a bit: Maybe.
It’s funny how some people think that if you READ, you should have read or you must read certain books. When God of small things won an award, all people talked about was the book. I agree, I did pick it up, but not because of peer pressure, more because of curiosity. I didn’t even buy the book because I wasn’t sure I would like it. I got it from the library and read the first 50 pages. I didn’t like it, but I still read some 20 pages or so because I thought there must be something that I am not getting. I left it half read. There are so many books which I would love instead of spending time on something I do not like.
I haven’t read Blink, Freakonomics or anything by Salman Rushdie for that matter. But I do try to read the “famous” books, if I get the opportunity.
Sometimes I get to know how famous or popular the book is only after buying it and surfing the net.
But I guess I do miss out on reading some great books out there just because I don’t want to be in the book reading race. I read Kite Runner one year after it was released. I saw the book frequently in bookstores on the front tables, on the best sellers list. But I was wary. I just did not like the summary and the name, so I never bought it. But one day I was just flipping through it in the bookstore, I read the first page and I was hooked.
So basically this post is going no where. I guess most of us do look at popular books and read it only if we find the genre interesting and something that we would read. That’s all.
By the way, I have read so many good reviews about ‘The 19th wife’, that I feel like I have to read it. Not out of peer pressure, mind you.
I understand what you’re saying. Sometimes yes; sometimes no. I think that’s the reason for the hype: so that our curiosity will peak.
I liked The 19th Wife! I’d recommend it. I also just read something by Salman Rushdie, Midnight’s Children. It was disappointing, one of those books that you have to have a class on to understand. Is that why it won the Booker of Bookers?
Yep, I know your feeling! Not all books with the hypes are good reads, but at least they’ve caught our attention, haven’t they? 😉
I don’t think I’m one to read the ‘must have’ lists, but I always feel obliged to read anything I’m given as gifts, etc. And there have been some real ‘turkeys’ among those over the years…!
I’m a sucker for a book/movie tie-in. So I felt fairly obliged to read the Ludlum books after I saw the Bourne movies so I guess that’s a peer pressure of sorts…
I know what you mean. So many people i know always say to me ‘ooh read this its amazing’. I dont always find the books amazing. I do however find myself saying the same to my friends. If i read a book that i think is pretty good then i will let people know about it.
I guess that it depends on your imagination and what you think of the book. Sometimes i just cant get into it.
A good book to me is something that takes me away. Not many books do that. x
Thanks for your encouraging words at my blog.
Once upon a time (it seems so long away now:)…) we used to discuss books and picked up our titles which friends were reading. There came a time when books almost vanished from my life. The only books I read was Spock’s “Mother” (you will read it too some day) then “A level stuff” and finally B.Ed. stuff. But now I am back. There are so many titles to be read…I doubt if one life could be enough.
And yes I agree with Fabulous…A good book should take you away.
Quite right there!
I can’t seem to pick up a book just because it’s high on fame! As you mentioned even I havent read Freako——-, nothing or mebbe one from Salman Rushdie (he is toooo complex for me :P).
I just finished my first read from Ayn Rand ( I am never updated, I prefer classics anytime). However I did like God of small things which i read some two years ago—but unlike many people I dislike Chetan Bhagat, Tushar Raheja and their league.
Phew-lastly, I agree with you, one can always try a book at the library, if you really like it but it, or you may just leave it on page-10 or 50 and be happy that you din’t waste your money!