I AM COMPLETELY GUILTY OF THIS.
Here are only a few examples of the sort of books that I’ve been hooked into reading because of the hype. If these books hadn’t been as popular as they are today . . . I probably wouldn’t have even picked them up in the first place. Also? Preconceived ideas, even when I hadn’t read the books.
That’s why I don’t intentionally look up reviews of books I’m planning to read.
But I don’t avoid book reviews or anything. I do read reviews that I stumble across on other people’s blogs, or books that have a large amount of hype around it (which I’ll talk about later) but don’t intentionally seek them out. Why? Because I’m worried that it would change the way I think of the book in question. I’m less likely to enjoy a book if it has been given exceptional star ratings, because I have it fixed in my mind that I’ll love the book, and in fact when I read the book in question, it can never quite reach my expectations.
I like to keep a clear open-minded opinion on books until I have read them.
A review is only one person’s opinion of a book. Books are subjective — so if someone gave it a one-star review and criticized every inch of a novel, that doesn’t mean you’re not going to like it. So why not give it a go? You might find out you love it!
So what about the hype? Does the hype of a book reflect the way that I view and read books? Of course! It’s a similar idea to having preconceived ideas about a book before you read them, which again… is why I don’t typically seek out book reviews until after I’ve read them. Ironically though, when I go to a library or bookshop, I never tend to actually pick up a book I haven’t heard of before. I should probably widen my reading range, though.
Take The Fault in Our Stars for example. Simply put: if there wasn’t so much hype and excitement about that books (I read this last year), I probably wouldn’t have even have read it at all. That is for two main reasons. 1) I never read much contemporary before this book — John Green was actually a turning point in the choice of reading material I read; before now, I wouldn’t have even of touched a non-fantasy novel. 2) I never usually read books with darker, more depressing themes, such as cancer.
I was pleasantly surprised with The Fault in Our Stars.
For me — it lived up to the hype. This was one of those books where the hype didn’t effect the way I viewed a book.
How about you? Do you read reviews in order to decide what novel you’re going to read next? Does the hype of a book affect the way you rate it? Let me know!