In my review of Delirium on Thursday, I talked about the Hype Monster. This was the experience I was starting to have:
I could feel the Hype Monster breathing down my neck so I didn’t pick it up right away. I try not to let myself be swept away too much into the hype of a book and make a valiant effort to keep myself grounded while I begin to read it. I want to allow myself to experience the book without the echos of its proclaimed greatness weighing heavily on my mind.
You’ll have to read the review to find out if it lived up to the hype or not..but it made me think seriously about “hype” in the book word..or any realm for that matter…movies, music, etc.
On one hand, I hate the hype. When something is far too hyped up I’m expecting something that is going to knock me off my feet. When I see a slew of rave reviews saying “OMG..best book EVER in the WORLD” or “If you only read one book”..I’m expecting to be wowed and dazzled. It builds up certain expectations in my mind and most of the time, the book ends up falling short. And then I sit there wondering– is it my fault as a reader for letting myself be swept away in this hype that lead to some unrealistic expectations? Would my feelings have changed about this book had I not heard tons of hype about it? Or would I still feel the same way about the book as I do now? Because there is always that reality..that the book just wasn’t THERE for you…despite the hype.
On the other hand, I understand the good in hype. You NEED to get people excited about your book as an author and a publisher. There needs to be outpourings of support and emotion from people who loved the book and want to share it. Hype makes being a part of this book community fun. I looove the hype..especially when I’m getting to loudly proclaim that I loved a book. I do try to be cautious in how I’m labeling the book–if I really don’t think it was the best book in the whole entire world..I’m not going to say that. I would find other ways of explaining how much I love this book and think people need to read it. But that’s just me!
But as a reader and a blogger and a supporter of the authors I love…I have such a myriad of emotions when it comes to hype. I love it and I detest it all at the same time. Maybe it’s just me though..maybe I need to learn better how to separate the hype from my reading experience.
What do you think? Have you ever been victim to the Hype Monster? Which books were ruined for you and do you think you would have enjoyed them more had you not had those expectations? Also, how do you keep yourself from giving into the hype and letting it sour your reading experience?