Hello, my name is Kimberly, and I am doing my first bookish discussion post. Ever.
Like I said earlier this year, I plan on posting a LOT more book related content this year, and a discussion post seems like a great way to help me with my goal. Yes, this is indeed my first discussion post, so I’m not exactly really sure how to do this. If any of you are more experienced book bloggers, any advice would be heavily appreciated ❤
Anyways, moving on: as the title suggests, today I will be talking about hype in books, and if it changes our perception and reading experience. This is something I’ve been thinking about for quite a bit, and I’ll give my final verdict after presenting the evidence*.
Let’s dive right in, shall we?
*I… am talking like a police/forensic scientist here WHY
I’m afraid I haven’t explained it yet: what is hype? For those of you unknown with this term, it may be extremely confusing. Is it excitement? Or a community? Or is it a new type of potato*?
In fact, congrats, because YOU are correct on all 3 points! If we were to define this in the bookish language, it would be equivalent to your Goodreads feed flooded with 5 star reviews of the same book. Also, avid readers like you and I SCREAMING about the amount of love we have for this particular book that eventually crashes the internet.
To be honest, it took me awhile to really “experience” and witness a hype, and then it took even more time for me to really understand it.
*potatoes should be celebrated
So what makes a book hyped?
There are SO many reasons why some books are hyped while some are not. However, I’ll be discussing about the 3 main reasons I feel that contribute the most
because this post is already almost 1K words oops
↬ book covers
So. We’ve been told since what, we were tiny potatoes, that do NOT judge a book by its cover. Well, from a child like me (yes, I still refer myself as a child), haha we can stop lying to ourselves because internally we all know that it ain’t reality. However much we may try to, how can we simply turn away a book with a pretty cover? I feel like our brains basically translate beautiful covers into the actual content having the same amazing quality.
↬ the internet
Book blogs. Book twitter (is that what it’s called??). Bookstagram. These are just 3 of the many platforms book lovers alike boost, rant, ship, and scream on. I’ve been introduced to SO many new books and authors on WordPress alone, and let’s definitely not forget about Goodreads. Even though I only started to seriously blog about bookish content a few months ago, I have really seen how much the book blogging community alone poses an impact on me.
↬ author blurbs
Last but definitely NOT least on this smol list!! If you’re not sure what I’m talking about when I refer to “author blurbs”? It’s the small, minuscule line of writing usually printed on the top or bottom of a book cover written by another author (most of the time famous) boosting that particular book.
Now, I usually don’t use that very much when I pick out my next read, but hey, if the blurb is written by one of my favourite authors, I will snatch it and run like the wind to the check out counter (@ the library of course)
↬ let’s flood our TBRs
As readers, what’s any better feeling (than reading) when you furiously add every book you see to your TBRs and watch it start to grow even taller that you? Because seriously – we love making book towers and hoping they won’t collapse.
↬ the mutual excitement (!!)
One of the best parts of the bookish community on Goodreads and WordPress here is that everyday is like a full on party. 24/7, we are either crying our hearts out, screaming about a disappointment, or fangirling about a ship… it’s like a society. And when a book starts to hype, things start to get out of hand. In a good way.
You can literally feel the excitement and screaming as you scroll through the post/Goodreads feed, because that’s one thing I love SO much about the book blog community. There’s just so much passion and love! Being excited about something with someone (aka thousands of other passionate readers) is definitely way better than being alone, so if you’re playing witness, then this is one play for you to see.
↬ invitation to loads of discussions
I.. love discussions. Whether it may be about the curriculum (yes, that’s me), mental health representation, or lack of platonic relationships in media, I’m always up for one. Of course, we can’t forget about books, can we?
Hype can be a starting point for tons of discussions, may it be on the blogosphere, Goodreads, or even with your book loving irl friends too. There’s just so much about hype to scream about, and if tons of people have read it, we can literally make friends every where*.
I feel like it really brings the community together, and it gives us the chance to stumble across more book blogs too (which is always an amazing thing). It’s truly an amazing thing, how 300 pages can have such a huge impact on tens of thousands of people.
*Except me the smol introvert tea-loving potato who likes to talk to books more than humans.
↬ helps us to branch out to more genres
Before I found my love of reading and actually started blogging about it, I didn’t read a lot, to be honest. If I read, then it’d probably be for school. Even after I started to pile my TBR into an unreasonable height, I usually stuck with my comfort zone: contemporaries.
The hype has introduced me to so many new books in different genres, and it really helps us also to read more diverse literature. Now, I’m glad to say that contemporaries, magical realism as well as several others share smol squishy places in my heart.
↬ it’s not really fair to the author + book
Bookish hype is something that is wayyy more complicated than it seems. And most of the time it’s unintentional! Some authors do book tours, giveaways… etc, but I feel like it doesn’t necessarily guarantee that it will be hyped. Personally, I think that the fate of the book being hyped is mostly in the hands of the community.
Sometimes though, some books don’t really seem to “deserve” the hype, while some are way underrated and buried when it should be the one getting the attention and boosting. Therefore, the hype doesn’t always equal to the book being as spectacular and unforgettable as it seems.
↬ why is the book hyped? we don’t know anymore rip
If you can answer that question without any hesitation, then you have my infinite respect. The big inquiry is WHY.
We are often so caught up in the hype, we don’t even know what we were excited for in the first place. For instance, if I was really hyped about… let’s say “Starfish” by Akemi Dawn Bowman*, someone may ask me what the book is about and I wouldn’t know exactly how to respond. BECAUSE ALL I KNOW IS THAT IT’S POPULAR.
*btw i really did love that one. with my everything
↬ a divide in the bookish community
I know, I know, I said that hype can bring people together, but it can also tear them apart *tries to sound wise*. Let’s put this in another instance so it’s easier for you to get what I mean (I love being a complicated child). Say… there’s this really hyped book that everyone has read, but I haven’t yet. A person one day comes up and asks “Kim, have you read [insert hyped book title] yet?”, I say “nope”, then in response: “you haven’t read it yet???? are you even a real reader?????” And that, my dear friends, can create stress and a feeling of loneliness, which is the exact opposite reading is supposed to bring you: joy.
So what’s the verdict??
I only went over my top points for the pros and cons, but after some even more thinking, I can only say: read what you want.
We shouldn’t feel obligated to read or not read something just because it’s hyped. There’s no “right” or “wrong” way to read. And not reading a book that most have doesn’t make you “not” a reader!! The most important thing is focusing on the fact on why we read: we love it; don’t let other people change that otherwise.
what are your thoughts on book hype? do you often find yourself caught in it? any other pros/cons in your opinion? how do you feel about my first bookish discussion post? let’s chat in the comments :))