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.