Monday, January 9, 2012

Musing Monday...Don't Hype the Hype

Let's head over to see what  MizB at Should Be Reading is asking this week on Musing Monday...

Are there any “raved reads” –books that everyone seems to be talking about– that you’re hoping to get read this year, yourself? What books are they, and why are you hoping to read them? Is it because you want to say you’ve read it? Or, would you have chosen to read it, even if you’d discovered it yourself, and no one was raving about it?

Is there a book out there, a best seller, a one getting a lot of hype, a lot of reviews, that I plan on reading soon?
I can only think of one, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern .
But...actually, I am in no huge rush . I just looked at my library catalog online (is that not the greatest thing in the world?) and see they have a copy on the shelf at my local branch that I could go and get today. But, I am not sure I am in the mood for it at the moment..the whole magical thing and all. And the Niece just read it and was not terribly taken with it. So, while that may not stop me, it does not have me rushing out to get it.

Beside, I am not sure that I am at all a fan of "raved reads" or hyped books. In fact, some contrary aspect of my nature makes me rather hesitant to read a book that everyone else is reaing and talking about. I admit I often do end up reading some of the Big Hits but usually a bit later than everyone else. And that is fine with me. I have read some on the big best sellers in recent years, like The Help and The Hunger Games and Stieg Larsson's books. Gosh, they are still on the best seller lists! And I very much enjoyed them. But there are a lot of books on those lists that I know I would not enjoy and I don't plan to read them, hype or not. There is a Sparks book on the current NY Times list and a Grisham and from past experience I think I will skip those.
So many good books out there, so little time.

Would I read a book no one is talking about? Sure, I do it all the time. In fact, one thing I love about reviewing books..actually maybe the only thing I love about reviewing books.. is finding a really great, entertaining, enjoyable book that is not know, is not being talked about, but should be and being able to review it and share it with a few readers.  If just one of you picks it up and reads it and likes it and finds a new author to check out..well, then my work here is done!

Would I do it so I can say that I read it? Well, really, who would I tell? You, my dear readers, are about the only people I discuss books with and since many of you have read the same ones, who am I going to impress? I have the same feeling about movies. The Big Blockbusters that everyone is seeing...that's ok, I will wait and see them on DVD. I really prefer to go to the smaller ones. One that is foreign...subtitles...I am there.

Hype is not all it is Hyped up to be.

Case in point.
Check out this article in The Guardian listing the 100 best selling books of all time...
Well, since 1998.
In the UK.
The number one book?
The Da Vinci code by Dan Brown.
I kid you not.
Enough said.


  1. I don't usually read any hyped books the moment they come out, only if it's part of a series I've already read. I rather wait until the books are in my library and then borrow them. Since I have around 600 books I'd like to read, it would be way too expensive to buy them all..! :)

    Thanks for stopping by, you just got yourself a new follower!

    Monaliz @ Mind Reading?

  2. I loved this, and honestly your words could have been mine (except for a few of the titles mentioned, e.g. the Larson books, Elephant book). I'm always thrilled to read about old books I've never heard of, and am actually reading one right now, Lady Audley's Secret.

  3. Umm .. UK .. land of bland food, ribald comedians and bad book choices

  4. And I think we are all clear on your feelings about Dan Brown!!!
    At least you've read the Hunger Games and Steig Larsson. I still haven't gotten around to either of them. Most likely won't either.

  5. Hmm... I think I like middlin' hype, or great reviews from bloggers who think like me, you know? I started avoiding "NY Times Best Sellers" as almost guaranteed to twist my gut in some unusual way - prob after crying thru The Time Traveler's Wife!! I feel similar about Steig Larsson's, actually, although I've only read the first one. Have you read all of 'em? I feel confident about my own Musing answer: Colorimetry

  6. Yeah I think you have to be careful. Take "Freedom" for example. Good Lord that was awful. Or the latest Erik Larson book, "In the Garden of Beasts". People get a big name then everything they write is hot, whether it is good or not. I DO want to read The Night Circus, but when it first came out, there were ten million reviews. So I figure I will let it sit and age on my shelves for awhile before I pick it up...

  7. Totally agree. I wouldn't read a "hyped" book just because it is, especially if it isn't in one of fave genres. It would probably end up getting a lousy review from me. I would rather find a book that I love and tell my blogging buddies about it. Great post!

  8. You make a good point; sometimes hyped isn't always a good thing. I think that sometimes the idea of a book being good because other people think so tricks you into thinking that the book is a bigger deal than it is. I typically don't read a lot of "recent" books unless I've read something else by the author before, or if the book was a gift.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! New follower.

  9. I also like finding books that others may not have seen and letting them know what a good read it is. Thanks for visiting.

  10. You so made your case with the Da Vinci Code thing!! And I recently got The Night Circus from the library (on my Kindle no less!) and it was pretty good -- better than I expected based on the hype but it wasn't totally my kind of book. Still, it was creative and better than I expected it to be all things considered. It is one that I would suggest checking out at some point rather than the obvious skipping book like Sparks.

  11. Yeah, when a book gets too much hype, it generally makes me wary.

  12. Hi! Thanks for the visit to my blog!

    Lovely post, as usual!

    "...share it with a few readers. If just one of you picks it up and reads it and likes it and finds a new author to check out..well, then my work here is done!"

    That's exactly what I love to do too! I love sharing little known books that I've found and loved in the hope that someone else may also love them too.


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