Why Malka is Okay With Not Reading Popular Books

I’ve had the idea for this post lurking around in mind for a while, but especially after I saw Destiny’s post about hyped books she’s unsure about, I decided to finally share my thoughts. Here’s why I feel no regrets about not giving in to the hype!

Over the years I’ve gotten pretty good at figuring out the finds of books I like to read. As you probably know by now, that usually means cute and fluffy books. But it’s more than that. I’ve gotten pretty good at knowing which books sound meh to me or even which books sound flat out horrible. Which is why I’ve become okay with not following the bandwagon and reading every hyped up book that gets released.

Meh Bart Simpson GIF

Some popular books I don’t read because they sound cliche to me. I feel like I’ve read a better version before, or that I read something too similar to it and didn’t enjoy it. I am known to give an occasional eye roll when I hear the plot of a popular “new book” that seems like it’s been done 27 times before. But the truth is, here I’m most lenient. Since we all know that many times synopses do a terrible job of describing books. Bloggers are much better at it. Which is why if I see lots of good things from bloggers I trust, or hear a good pitch for the book, my interest may get reignited. However, if I keep hearing that it’s like another popular book I didn’t like, I stay away.

bella thorne no GIF by Music Choice

The other reasons I may not read a popular book is if I hear it’s too dark and grim and bloody. Many times this isn’t the fault of the book. But I can only tolerate a limited about of death and destruction before hitting a slump and getting depressed, so I try to stick away from the ones that I think will have the most adverse effects. This is also why I don’t tend to read fantasies all that often, although lately contemporaries have been getting pretty dark as well.

Jon Snow GIF

When it comes down to it, I read for enjoyment. And since I’ve learned what I enjoy, I’ve become more particular with what I choose to read. Books are not a one size fits all situation, and so even though 99% of people may love a series, I may just not be interested. I still love hearing about people’s excitement. And many times I’ll read the spoilers so that I understand why people are excited, but I choose not to devote my time to books I don’t think I’ll enjoy, and I’m happy with my decision.

 

How do you deal with popular books? Will you read a popular book even if it has a trope or setting you don’t usually enjoy just because it’s popular?

19 thoughts on “Why Malka is Okay With Not Reading Popular Books

  1. I totally agree, I never read a book just because it’s popular. If it sounds like something I’d enjoy and it’s popular ? Great. But if I don’t think I’ll like it, I probably won’t read it. And if a book sounds like something I’d love and it’s not popular? I’ll read it anyway. I don’t think anyone should waste time reading a book they have no interest in when there are so many books out there better suited for them 🙂

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  2. I read a book, because it interests me. There are a LOT of popular books I have passed on, simply because they are not “me” books. I get a lot of comments on my reviews, that people have never heard of the books, so I feel a little less mainstream than I though I was.

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    1. Same! Also, that’s very true. I didn’t even think about it, but knowing what you want to read helps you find underhyped books as well. I love when bloggers introduce me to the perfect “me” book, as you put it, that no one else was talking about. Especially when all the hyped books I hear about aren’t for me.

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  3. Oh man. I struggle with super popular books. Sometimes I’ll avoid like the plague, and other times I’ll grudgingly read it just to be in the know (as in the case of both Twilight and Fifty Shades of Gray). My initial reaction is to resist anything that gets super popular, though, just like it’s always been to ignore other trends, and I’m pondering whether I should reconsider that stance.

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    1. The struggle is real! Especially in my earlier days of discovering the online book community I’d just want to understand what all the hype was about. It’s what got me to read City of Bones and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before when I wasn’t too interested in them initially. But now I take a more nuanced stance. I don’t avoid things just because they’re popular, but I also don’t jump to read a book just because it’s hyped.

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  4. If anything, popular books that are hyped up a lot are books that I tend to avoid (or at least put off for a very long time) and I think my main reason for that is that I’m afraid I’ll be disappointed by them. I am still interested in popular culture so I do like to read books that are popular, but usually, I’m late to the party and read them way after everyone else.

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    1. I hear that. I always get so disappointed when I dislike a book everyone loves and have no one to talk to about it. But I think that’s why I’m more careful about what I read now. I want to be sure I enjoy it! Also, I feel you with taking a while to get to popular books. The game of catch up never seems to end! The TBR is always silently judging!

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  5. This is such a great post! I still find, somehow, some kind of small pressure to read a certain kind of books or the books that are popular, just to be into what everyone’s talking about. Yet, like you perfectly mentioned it, it’s important to know what we love and to follow our hearts’ desire before anything else, because in the end, we’re the ones knowing what we like and what appeals to us the most, just as well 🙂 I’m always trying to be extra careful before buying a book when I’m not certain of it all and to ask myself whether or not I’d actually like the book or if it’s just the popularity of it all influencing me haha 🙂
    Wonderful post! 🙂

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    1. Thank you! I totally hear that! The way I try to deal with it is starting from whether the synopsis intrigues me and going from there. That’s my bare minimum so that even if I’m influenced by the hype after the book is released, I know that it’s not a book I had NO interest in beforehand.

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  6. This is so true! You know, so often lately I feel like a black sheep with ALL the “huge” books. And maybe your way is the best way! Especially since a lot of the time, I think I am only attracted to reading it because everyone else is and I feel like I am “supposed to” be reading it? Which I know is silly, but it’s more of a subconscious thing. Awesome post, and great job resisting the hype monster!

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    1. Thank you! And I’m going to join your black sheep party. I have plans for revealing the books I’ve read and disliked before I decided to trust my gut, and a separate list for books that I have zero plans of reading and for both lists I can’t wait for everyone’s shock and gasps of horror!

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  7. I am with you on not following the hype train. My reading tastes seldom match with the popular trend and I also tend to wait out for the hype to settle down before I pick even the books that I want to. And not reading fantasy also contributes to me being off most popular trains.

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    1. It’s true! I tend to read contemporaries and there rarely is as much hype about them, although on occasion there is. I think the fact that fantasies tend to be series plays into this as well. Like, if you loved the first book in a series then you’re going to be hyping up the entire rest of the series for all eternity. Glad to hear there’s another none-hype-follower out there! 😃

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