Booking Through Thursday (9.4.08): Peer Pressure

September 4, 2008




Topic: I was looking through books yesterday at the shops and saw all the Twilight books, which I know basically nothing about. What I do know is that I’m beginning to feel like I’m the *only* person who knows nothing about them.

Despite being almost broke and trying to save money, I almost bought the expensive book (Australian book prices are often completely nutty) just because I felt the need to be ‘up’ on what everyone else was reading.

Have you ever felt pressured to read something because ‘everyone else’ was reading it? Have you ever given in and read the book(s) in question or do you resist? If you are a reviewer, etc, do you feel it’s your duty to keep up on current trends?

Answer: Yes that has happened to me. When the whole Twilight craziness began I gave up and bought the book. Mind you, I am not a person who enjoys fantasy tales, I’m more of a realistic fiction person. I bought it because I though “If everyone likes it then I have to like it too”. I bought Twilight last December. I began to read it and I just didn’t connect very much with the story. The romance was too corny, the whole vampire thing is not that interesting to me. I just didn’t like it very much. As of now, it’s still on my shelf half read. I’m thinking of selling it. I felt pressured to read this book because everyone just kept talking about it saying it was the best thing ever. So that’s one book I gave in and read. I don’t think I’ve given into anything else. As a reviewer, I don’t feel as though I have to keep up with current trends in books because I have my review site #1 for me. I want people to benefit from it but I won’t read something that doesn’t call out to me. Now I know not to think about getting a book just because its popular… it just disappoints me.

Have you ever read a book just because its popular? Which? Did the hype match the book? Or was it not that good? Let me know in the comments. 🙂


  1. About the Twilight subject, I am proud to say that I read it when it wasn’t quite as popular. It was still popular (NYT bestsellers always are) but at that time, I felt no pressure to read it. Either it was because it wasn’t quite as popular yet (somewhat likely) or because I wasn’t as huge of a part of the book world (even more likely) but I only read it for myself. And I loved it… I thought it was great when other people in my school read it, and I got my friends to read it so I could talk to them about it, but it bothers me when people get TOO obsessed. Yes, I love the series. Yes, I was at B&N on August 1st to get a copy of Breaking Dawn right when it came out. But in the end, it is just a book. And just because I may think it’s a great book, doesn’t mean everyone else will. So I don’t feel like talking about it constantly (one of my friends does that, it’s quite annoying) or pushing it on someone who just doesn’t want to read it. I would never enjoy a book if I were pressured into reading it, so I know nobody else would either.

    That being said. As far as pressure, I honestly can’t think of any other time I read a book just because everyone else was reading it. I would say Harry Potter, but that was a series that I read and enjoyed before I knew, or cared, that everyone else liked it. So… nope. No giving in for me.

  2. I’m proud of you Chelsie. 🙂

    Let me just add something more now that I read your post. There’s a girl in my school who read Twilight and hasn’t read the others and we had to do a Book Report thing and like 24/7 she’s saying “Don’t talk to me about it I haven’t read the other three!” like it would be the end of the world if someone did say something. Like you said Chelsie… IT’S JUST A BOOK! Get over it already. So now she is a super fanatic (although she, that I know of, never reads) and I just feel like yelling out at her THERE ARE BETTER BOOKS IN THIS WORLD, WHY DON’T YOU GIVE THEM A SHOT?
    Am I the only one that doesn’t like when books get too popular that they have like 100 copies of them at all bookstores when there are books that aren’t even stocked up-to-date and you have to request them, etc?

  3. Hi,

    I want to say that I totally agree with both of you. I, too, have read Twilight when it was not the kind of obsessive phenomenon that it has become now.I read it because, honestly, I found the cover beautiful…not that I felt some kind of pressure or anything. I found the book amazing and read the rest of them afterwards…But now, like this summer with Breaking Dawn and all, I saw how much of a stange thing it as become. People are literally obsessed with this book and they create a kind of mania about this where they call themselves Twilighters and stuff… I think it’s just too much. It’s a book for god’s sake! And if you look back on it, I mean, really, there’s nothing THAT awesome.

    I too hate when books become too popular.. I guess I like being a little bookworm proud of reading her own little unknown books! 🙂

  4. I agree that she should read something else, but I also have a friend who read Twilight, and that is what got her into reading… and now she is one of my favorite friends to talk about books with. So it could work either way… it could make people more or less likely to read other types of books.

    But I also agree that it sucks when popular books are way stocked up, and less-popular ones only have like two books on the shelves. It does get extremely annoying.

  5. Mae-You know, I was actually going to say that but I thought it was too selfish to say. I like that I like to read. It’s like my own little thing and get a little jealous when others start reading books I like it makes me feel like “hey, that was my thing, not yours”. Well, I’m just selfish I guess but that’s how I feel.

    Chelsie-I guess it could work that way. I’ve just never seen it happen. I just see Twilighters clutching their Breaking Dawns and nothing more.

  6. Instead of feeling pressure from other people (with the exception of teachers in school – but then I usually liked the books anyway), I feel pressure from myself. It’s like, I know that I should read a book because it’s in my field (psychology/children) or preferred genre (YA) or because it’s one my sister liked or a classic. I also have the distinction of starting only (I think) 2 books that I never intended to finish (A River Runs Through It – I could not read about flyfishing in high school, and The Hitchhiker’s Guide… – I attempted it too young and couldn’t keep it striaght).

    Harry Potter was something people seemed to like so I got into it in book 3 (my brother thought it was stupid until he started reading – now obsessed, my sister refused to read them though she watches the movies). I also finally bought Twilight because I don’t want to ending wrecked before I read them (though I think I know it anyways). The irony is that I don’t think my friends read enough to pressure me into reading a book… so I do that to myself instead.

  7. Wow, that’s rather different. I don’t think I’ve ever pressured myself to read a book.

    Did you like Twilight?

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