There is a lot of stigma attached to ‘popular’ books and should you read them or not? People love to hate others that chose to read the books in the charts. But in reality, there’s many reasons as to why you’d read a popular book. I for one will always choose to read popular books, there are reasons they’re popular! Now i’ve said ‘popular’ so many times, lets get to my reasons…
I was chatting to a few friends a little while ago about reading books to find out what the hype was about. For example, if a book is continuously talked about, why wouldn’t you read it? Why wouldn’t you pick it up because it either is a really great book, so much so that everyone is talking about it. Or, there is an aspect of that book (theme, character etc) that has got people talking.
More recently, and with one book in particular i’ve found, a lot of people are saying ‘don’t read that, you’ll be associated with the themes within that book if you read it.’ If a book has a racist or homophobic theme for example, you are automatically associated as being a supporter of that theme if you read the book because there’s so much talk around it. However, reading it is not the problem necessarily but defending the problematic elements is.
I for one, have always been the type of person who reads books with a hype around. Any YA release that has been popular, crime novels such as The Girl On The Train have always been top of my list because they’re being talked about. If they weren’t being talked about, it means they wouldn’t have been noticed, no-one would have cared.
I really am not a fan of Zoe Sugg (stay with me, i’m going somewhere with this) and i have not been quiet about it. However, when Girl Online was released, no matter how many good or bad reviews i saw of it, i chose to get myself a copy and read it to see what the fuss was about, to make my own mind up regarding the writing, story and whatever else so my decision on how bad or good it was, was not influenced solely by others.
What i’m trying to get at, is that i read ‘popular’ books in order to find out more about why they’re popular. Most of the time, they’re really great books because so many people love them enough to talk about them. It’s a great way to join in conversation and get involved with so many other people who share an interest as you do. Don’t be put down by people being judgmental if you choose to read a book that is ‘problematic’, because at least you’re finding out for yourself.
I think being a part of the book community has made me more aware of my own mind. It has made me realise that i can think for myself and figure out what i do and don’t want to read myself with strangers on the internet getting involved. I urge you all to do the same and read more popular books! It’s very strange that our community has come down to a rule that ‘if it’s popular, you’re conforming to a stereotype’.