Yes…it’s been a while. Quite a while since my last discussion post. I had been in kind of a slump lately, been out of ideas, but I still do enjoy writing discussion posts! So here is a new topic : I’m going to be talking about book hype. What exactly it is, what it’s effect is, some books which were spoiler by hype, and some that lived up to it.
So what exactly is book hype? It is basically when a book – prior to or after its release – attains a lot of fame. Bloggers, booktubers, bookstagrammers – everyone raves about this book, and you can literally see it all around, on every single bookish platform, and you cannot help but hear more and more about this book. Nowadays, with so many ARCs floating around of books, book hype begins much before the release date. I’ve already been seeing around tons of books which are set to release much later this year, and they’ve already been attaining hype steadily.
Now, you may ask – what is wrong with raving about a book you like? To which, I’d say – there’s nothing wrong. But when every single person starts talking about a book – it finally attains the title of a ‘hyped’ book.
What this book hype does, is unrealistically raise expectations. It creates pressure, that’s what it does. Think for a minute or two about all the books you read, which did not inherently interest you, but you still read them because they were famous? Think about, had these books not been famous, would you have picked them up still?
As bloggers, posting reviews of new, popular books is more satisfying than older, less famous or lesser-known books. When I publish a review of a new and hyped up book, I know for a fact that it will garner more attention than if I publish a review of a book no one has heard of. I do agree that blogging is not about the numbers, but a few months into it, and we all have a way of judging whether a particular post we published was ‘successful’ or not.
At the same time, there’s a pressure to satisfy your blog readers. Due to book hype, it seems like everyone around the world is reading a particular book, and that people are actually interested in posts about the book. So that creates an apparent pressure to publish content which interests and pleases your reader – and thus that induces you to pick up the hyped book!
Also, when everyone in the bookish community hypes up a particular book, it’s exciting! After all, we’re readers first and bloggers/bookstagrammers/booktubers etc second, and as readers – we wish to read books we enjoy and love! When a particular book is hyped, it creates hope that it is a good book which we will enjoy, and we pick it up expecting to fall in love with it like everyone else!
So what is the problem with picking up hpyed books? Personally, for me, it more often that not creates false hope. It makes me interested in a book which I would normally not bother reading, it makes me pick up something which had I not heard about it, I wouldn’t at all be interested in. And the reason I don’t like it is that it is a waste of time. I don’t want to waste my time reading books I’m not interested in the material of, and yet I have done so just because the book became really famous, and the line of thought I followed would be ‘well, if everyone else is loving it, I’ll probably love it too!’
But like I said, what often ends up happening, is that I end up picking up a book I had absolutely no interest in reading and then without a doubt, I dislike it! So that makes it a waste of time and tbh, it kinda feels like you’ve been cheated on.
All these books here are extremely hyped ones, and all of them ended up being disappointing (to me). And this is not because of the genres, but because of the books itself. Looking objectively, none of these books have storylines which would interest me now, and I remember picking up all these books without researching on what they were about. I simply picked them up because they were very famous or written by extremely famous authors.
Same goes with the books pictured above. These are all extremely famous, but big disappointments. I in fact DNFed You. The Ocean at the End of the Lane and The Time Traveler’s Wife, I hated them that bad.
However, often, you come across books which do live up to the hype. The books pictured above are ones I was inherently interested in, and at the same time, were extremely hyped up. But since I picked these books up out of genuine interest, instead of just ‘going with the flow’ – I had a far better time reading these. In fact, a few of these have even become my favorite books of all time.
However, recently, it has dawned upon me that my reading choices and tastes are changing. I feel like this year, I have been picking up books less out of hype and necessity, and more out of genuine interest and inclination to read the book. I feel like this year has been the peak year in which I succeeded in ignoring the popularity of books and instead concentrated on simply debating whether I was interested in the book or not. And voila! Things are infinitely better. I’m enjoying the books I’m reading.
This in no way means I don’t dislike books. There are tons of books I have read this year which I disliked, but that is not the question. The question is, why I picked up these books. I read them because the summary/plot sounded interesting, or because I just wanted to. And sometimes that doesn’t work out too well – and being interested in a book doesn’t guarantee that you’ll enjoy it.
So this is where I end my discussion – and request you to join in! What do you do about book hype? Do you cave easily, or are you able to resist? What are some of the books which book hype spoiled for you? What are some books which lived up to it? Share below!