When I don’t like a book that everyone else does or not AS MUCH as everyone else does my brain starts running through all the reasons why that could be.
Is it just a case of it wasn’t my thing? Where there glaring problems I saw? Did my own values and experiences influence it and make me see it differently? But there’s one thing I always come back to and that’s the hype monster — which is both a good and bad thing for different reasons.
As a blogger I’m often reading books early before they have a chance to be hyped. It’s sometimes like I’m reading it in my own little isolated bubble or vacuum. I have few opinions to influence my thinking and really NO expectations to live up to. It’s a book that I may or may not enjoy and that’s all I know about it aside from the premise and the author.
But then let’s take the books that I’m late to the game on…books that people RAVE about and seem to be universally loved. Let’s just say it was a case of that I LIKED it but not as much as everyone else did — I didn’t get that OMG FAVE BOOK, life-changing experience that so many trusted people talked about. All those REASONS that made this book their favorite for all these years. I sit there and wonder that, if I had been in a “reading vacuum” and never heard anything about this book — like in the case of those books I read early — if I would have felt differently.
So I sit there all…”ok, book, would I have liked you MORE had I read you back when you just came out and there was relatively no hype or I wasn’t involved in the blogging community where I’m always hearing opinions about books? Or would it have been the same? Maybe you really just weren’t an amazing book for me?”
And obviously I don’t have the answer to that. I can’t go back in time or read every book in a vacuum where I hear basically nothing about it. But I feel sad for the books I could have probably LOVED if I hadn’t such high expectations of them because of all the hype. It’s one of the few downsides I see to blogging sometimes. I’m SO inundated with opinions that give way to expectations that it’s hard to read without being influenced by them. I JUST WANT TO BLOCK THEM ALL OUT WHEN I READ so I can have my own experience that is free of any hype.
So let’s talk: Do you ever think about this? Are there any books you think you probably would have LOVED more if there wasn’t that dreaded hype monster or any sort of built up expectations because of people’s opinions – like if you read them early on or in a “vacuum” so to speak? Or do you think you were always destined probably not to LOVE those books? How do you keep those expectations and hype at bay to let yourself not be so influenced?