A Willful Woman…

Thoughts about books from a romance addict.

OMG You Must Read this Post, It’s Awesome!

on November 20, 2013


I’ve been reading the other TBR challenge posts today and noticing that other readers have also been very happy with their hyped book*, whereas often the reaction to a hyped book is disappointment. I’m thinking of a couple of potential reasons:

— These hyped books have passed the test of time. Readers have been loving on them for quite a while, not just when they first came out.

— The hype is further away. We don’t feel as much pressure to like the book which can result in a negative reaction.

— Since the hype is further away, it’s also easier to pick a book we know is likely to work for us, without pressure.

This isn’t universally true, of course. I often see people read The Windflower for the first time and go WTF.  But then, lots of really popular books have serious WTF elements to them, so that’s not surprising.  (My failed read, A Knight in Shining Armor being another case in point.)

Anyway, if you’re a person who tends to respond negatively to hyped books, perhaps the key is to wait a while and see what shakes out over time. If the book is truly good, there will still be plenty of people around to discuss it with later.

* I’m not counting Wendy’s mixed reaction to Duke of Shadows because that’s a known bug.


6 responses to “OMG You Must Read this Post, It’s Awesome!

  1. Mary Chen says:

    …Hence the book cults.

    I find that I’m mostly in the majority of readers who like books – i.e. choose not to be overly judgmental when sharing an opinion. Therefore, these “hype” books I will either like or dislike. In the case of certain hype books, such as Fifty Shades, I’d have to pass. But within my preferred genre, I do normally trust the recommendations of a few good friends.

    • willaful says:

      I’ve gradually developed a more discriminating attitude towards hype, for which my book budget is grateful. But I don’t feel suspicious of books just because of hype (unless there are obvious red flags.)

  2. SuperWendy says:

    What I find fascinated with older hyped books (The Windflower is a perfect example!) is that fans so often don’t account for the Rose-Colored-Glasses effect. Let’s be honest, that romance novel you read at 16? Factoring in for a few exceptions – probably not going to move you the same way 25+ years later. It’s why I’m scared to reread Jude Deveraux. I loved the books I read by her, oh, 20 years ago – but now? I’ve changed. The genre has changed. Contrary to popular opinion, genre fiction doesn’t remain stagnant. It does evolve. Sometimes slowly – but evolve it does.

    And as long as we’re talking Laura London – when I read Lightning That Lingers my first thought was wow – who knew you could cram THAT much purple prose into a category length story? My second thought? That I wished I had read the book when I was 16 because I would have been a squee’ing mess of teenage emo over that book. Like I’m talking A+++++!!!!! As a jaded, cranky-pants grown-up librarian though? Meh. C.

    I know. The horror!

    (And oh how I wish The Duke Of Shadows had stayed in India….. But happy I have more Duran in the TBR to try)

  3. QuilterPhyl says:

    I have a few books that have been in my TBR pile going on 10 years now, which is about how long I’ve been reading romance. In my early days online I hadn’t learned to filter the noise. That’s why I have The Windflower in that pile. I could have read it for this month’s TBR Challenge, but I just didn’t want to. I’m beginning to think I’ll never read it. I’m a lot more careful about the hype now. Life’s too short to waste it on books I’m not likely to enjoy.

    • willaful says:

      Yeah, that was my third point IIRC. We have a better idea of how to choose now than when we first bought everything. I have some almost that old myself, though I’ve done a lot of culling. Honestly, I should just get rid of the entire print TBR, because I only want to read ebooks now.

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