24 November 2008

Musing Monday: Reading Craze

Here is today's Musing Monday prompt from Just One More Page:

How do you feel about wide-spread reading phenomenons - Harry Potter, for instance, or the more current Twilight Saga? Are these books so widely read for a reason, or merely fads or crazes? Do you feel compelled to read - or NOT to read - these books because everyone else is?

I think that there is a reason that books like this are widely read. They may not be great literature, but they must have intriguing plots if so many people are reading them. I recently left a comment to this effect on another blog. People who read these books are often called sheep because they are following the masses in making their reading choices. I have been guilty of saying that myself. When I really think about it, though, no one is going to slog through the seven thick books of the Harry Potter series blindly. Kids and adults who normally get the majority of their entertainment from TV and movies were picking up these books. People who aren't bibliophiles would not have made it through a long book series like that if the plot wasn't sufficient to pull them along.

Whether I feel compelled to read the latest hot book depends on my mood. Some books get so much press that I reject them because they have been overexposed. Other times I succumb to peer pressure and read something because my coworkers have all read it and I want to have something to talk about with them. However, I will not read past the first book of a series if I don't like the writing or the subject, no matter how popular it is. Reading the first book is the act of someone who wants to keep up with current trends; reading all the books is something a fan would do.


Rebecca said...

I like your point about the first book vs the series. I can relate to that. As I said in my response, I like to read the books of the moment, so that I can see what people are talking to - but that doesn't necessarily mean that I want to read the entire series if I'm just not that interested in the story.

Lisa said...

I read Twilight, but did not continue the series, but read all the HPs several times, so I agree. There are some books that have been around the blogosphere so many times that I'm just not interested any more- Matrimony, The Gargoyle, the one about the Mormon wife (The 13th wife? something like that). I don't even read the reviews any more, ditto Twilight and the sequels.