Sunday, November 23, 2008 By: Suzanne

Monday Musings: Book Fads

You can check out all the other posts at Monday Musings. Here's the question:

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?

Well, if you read my posts on the first two books in the Twilight series, then you know how I personally feel about these books. However, that doesn't mean I think they're just a fad. I personally loved Harry Potter, as I've stated before, even though it was originally intended for children and young teens. Rowling is a wonderful writer. I don't necessarily think the same thing about Meyer but there are many people who do. I believe that once these books get some recognition that there are more people who pick them up simply because they heard about the series through it's popularity but there is something about each of these that appeals to certain people. Even though I thought Twilight was...well, you know, that doesn't mean that there aren't others that genuinely like the books because of the something about the book itself, not because of its popularity. Sometimes I do feel compelled to read a book because of its popularity. I figure, if it's so popular, there must be something to it.


Michael said...

I concur with your last sentence. I only started reading Harry Potter because of how popular it was with the kids around me. Next thing you know, I'm racing with my friends to see who can finish the fourth/fifth/sixth/seventh book first.

I haven't gotten into the Stephanie Meyer ones yet, but I'm sure if I start, I won't be able to stop. That's the main turn off. Writers who are clearly well-established and thus, will pound out six or seven novels a year as they bathe in their new found fame and financing.

I see Jodi Picoult on your list. She has that effect on her readers too (especially my mother!)

I like the underdogs in the world of writing. I like the lesser known ones and I don't like indulging myself in what everyone else is picking up at the store like Stephen King for example. Popularity sort of makes for bad novels. That's just my general opinion.


P.S. Ever read José Saramago's stuff? Fantastic Portuguese writer with many great stories. I fully recommend his Blindness for one.

Bluestocking said...

Yeah I wasn't all together thrilled with the Twilight series.

Sherry said...

Michael, funny you should mention "Blindness" I plan to read it soon.

Here's my Monday Musing even thought it is still Sunday morning in my speck of the universe.

avm0525 said...

I think reading is like a healthy diet. One has to balance the sugary, fat-laden snacks with lots of fruits and vegetables with some fiber and protein thrown in. So read Rowling and Meyer, but don't forget Irving and Steinbeck and Austen and Dickens.

Tonya said...

Yeah, it was still Sunday morning for me too when I posted but the host for Monday Musing is ahead of me and it was already up. It sounded relevant to what I had already been talking about on here!

I have not read Blindness but I find that generally recommendation from people that like the same kinds of books I like are pretty good!

"So read Rowling and Meyer, but don't forget Irving and Steinbeck and Austen and Dickens." Jane Austen is one of my absolute faves!

Rebecca said...

I agree with both what you've said, as well as what amv0525 said above.

Popular books are read by more and more because they're ALREADY popular... but there's nothing wrong with this if you're balancing it out amongst your other books.

Lisa said...

I've never been one to follow fads, and I always thought HP was a childs book and didn't think it would appeal to me. I would be more inclined to read an HP book rather than Twilight. I did read the first two books of The Chronicles of Narnia and loved them. But then again, that's C.S. Lewis! I may give HP a try one day.

Anonymous said...

I feel no pressure to read what is popular. I read what I want to read. I've never even opened a Harry Potter book - and I probably never will. I had no plans to read the Twilight series either until my oldest son mentioned that he was thinking about reading it. I wanted to know what he would be reading and that way we could talk about it together.