Friday, 22 January 2016

Do I need to be reading the newest and most popular books?

I was looking at the nominees for the Goodreads Choice Awards in December when I realised that out of all 400 books listed between the categories, I'd only read 1. Out of the 3 I've now read, only Red Queen was a winner. I began to wonder: am I not reading good enough books?

Of course, not all of the genre categories appealed to me, so naturally I had no interest in many of the books. But I still felt I hadn't read any of the books that everyone seemed to be talking about.

Part of the reason why I started requesting ARCs was not just so I could review new books, but also partially so I could see what everyone was talking about. In the land of book blogging, we are mostly talking about the newest releases or the biggest successes. We crave new conversations and to be up to date, but some of the older or lesser known books don't get as much appreciation as a result.

Generally, I would say no - you don't need to be reading what everyone else is reading. You don't need to be ahead of the game with ARCs and you should take pleasure in reading whatever you want. But when it comes to book blogging, I do think more conversations start when we talk about the newest and most popular books. It's easier to talk about the latest book news and to be up to date with the bookish trends when everyone else can quickly jump on board and know where you're at.

I don't think this should dictate how we chose to blog in any way, but I do think there is a difference in level of discussion between when we talk about what's popular rather than what's not.
What do you think? How largely do others in the blogosphere and outside of it influence your reading choices? Do you feel the need to read the new and popular releases?


  1. I totally know what you mean about the pressure to keep up-to-date with new releases. I'm finding that the book blogging community is influencing my reading habits somewhat (e.g. a bit more YA has crept back into my TBR). I agree with your conclusion - read what makes you happy, just remember that books currently riding the hype train are going to garner the greatest response!

    1. Absolutely - I've also been reading more YA thanks to the blogging community, but I'm striving to focus first on what I want to read before I get to what everyone else is reading.