Thursday, September 04, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: Marching to a Different Drummer

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?

I am a contrary soul. I always have been, but it's no surprise since I come from a long line of contrary souls. I am particularly contrary when it comes to my reading. I don't join book challenges of any sort because I want to read what I want to read when I want to read it. People have been trying their best to get me to join all sorts of reading challenges, but their best just isn't good enough. That "read what I want to read when I want to read it" holds true for the latest crazes in the publishing world. I'll read a craze only if it's something I truly want to read. If I'm not interested in it, I might feel a bit proud of myself for being the only bookaholic in the world not to have read it. See? Told you I was contrary!

The only times I've felt pressured in my reading are:

  • in school when I had to read something I didn't want to (I still hold a grudge against George Eliot and Silas Marner)
  • when Life hits me like an eighteen-wheeler and I can't find a spare moment to read--we addicts can get ugly when we're jonesing for a fix
The world was a-buzz about Harry Potter, but he was barely a blip on my radar. I didn't even know the Twilight books existed until last week. Just call me Fadless in Phoenix. However...I have read all the Harry Potter books, and within the past few days, I've read Twilight. Why? Because friends of mine who are also bookaholics kept raving about them until what they were saying pierced my fadless fog. In the case of Harry Potter, it took them until the fourth book before I made any sort of move. Last week one of those same friends told me about her granddaughter wanting to be the first in line for Breaking Dawn and then insisting that Grandma read all the books, too. Jeanie did and didn't surface for air for almost a week. She raved about those books by Stephenie Meyer. Jeanie just doesn't rave, so when she does I pay attention. I've had quite a bit of reading enjoyment from Young Adult books within the past few months, so I looked up Twilight. Looked like something I'd be interested in, so I bought a copy. I almost didn't surface for air on Sunday, and today I'll be getting the rest of the books in the series. I just don't blindly stagger into the latest craze in the book world. I have friends who have very similar reading tastes, and I pay attention to what they say. I don't always follow their advice, but when they talk about something that does interest me, I'm prodded into taking action.

I've found that having a book blog now has fired a desire in me to keep closer track of publishing trends, but I don't feel a desire to pack up my piccolo and follow the band. I belong to a LibraryThing group for book bloggers. One of the discussion threads asks us book bloggers what our niche is. I know what my niche is--rather eclectic with a strong focus on mysteries. I read--and talk about--books and happenings in the book world that interest me. I am a contrary soul, but I seem to be finding others as I continue to blog!


  1. I like the way you think:
    "I want to read what I want to read when I want to read it."

  2. Does that mean you're contrary, too? :-)

  3. Mass popularity about a book or series of books generally makes me curious, but I don't necessarily feel pressured, not like I need to keep up with the Book-Jones's or anything. Whenever I have been curious enough to read the latest flavor of the month, as often as not I'm disappointed. Since Meyer's books seem to dwell on fantasy and romance (from what I've heard anyway), I doubt I will ever read them. Because my niche is crime fiction with occasional forays into nautical fiction and nonfiction history.

  4. I just commented on someone else's blog, Corey, that the more hyped a book is, the less apt I am to read it. There are exceptions of course, but years can pass before I read them. I've lost count of the times I've read a wildly hyped book and been vastly underwhelmed. That aside, you and I seem to have similar tastes in what we do like to read.

  5. Well said, and I like your style! I also like the style of your blog. Thanks for visiting TeaReads, too.

  6. Fantastic answer!
    I too only read what I want, when I want. But people call me stubborn (contrary sounds so much classier :) lol)

  7. I guess I'm a little contrary, too. I really prefer to read for my own pleasure, not because I feel any outside pressure or compulsion. Personally, though, I've found that joining a few reading challenges is a good way to keep myself reading without really limiting my choices too much.

  8. I NEVER have a problem keeping myself reading. My problem has always been making myself stop! LOL


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