Feeling the Pressure: Popular Books I Haven’t Read (Yet?)

Hello, everyone!

How was your weekend? Are you read for the new week? Personally, I’m feeling a bit tired since I’ve had a very busy (but very good!) weekend. And I also have a busy week and weekend ahead of me, which doesn’t help my stress levels but that’s where blogging comes in! I always feel better after I’ve written a new post for you or when I’m scrolling through my reader and seeing your posts.

So here I am: writing a post about popular books.

I was looking at my (endless) TBR a couple of days ago and I noticed there are a lot of “popular” or “hyped” books I haven’t read yet. I’m talking books that EVERYONE has read / is reading right now. Here are a few:

What surprised me is that some of these books are on my TBR BECAUSE they’re popular / hyped books, not because I’m actually excited about reading them. After some thinking, I came to the conclusion that I added them to my TBR and felt pressured to read them. I thought I HAD to read and review them or I wouldn’t be a good book blogger. Which is ridiculous.

Or is it… ?

Do you think it matters which books we choose to read and review? Do we have an ‘obligation’ to read popular books?

I think the books we choose to read matter some extent. For example, only reviewing books that are 5+ years old is most likely not going to interest your audience if they’re looking for new books / debut authors.

BUT that doesn’t mean we should read EVERY popular book out there or feel pressured to do so. And we shouldn’t feel bad or guilty for saying “hey, maybe this book just isn’t for me”. Basically, it’s okay to not read what everyone else is reading if it doesn’t interest you. Choosing to not read a hyped book doesn’t make you a bad blogger.

Does this mean I WON’T read any of the previously mentioned books? No, it doesn’t. I might decide to read A Darker Shade of Magic because I want to branch out and try something else (other than contemporary YA). But if I do, it’ll be because I want to, not because I feel like I have to.

Tell me: do you ever feel the same kind of pressure to read popular books? Have you read books that you knew you wouldn’t enjoy but you did anyway because they were popular?

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25 thoughts on “Feeling the Pressure: Popular Books I Haven’t Read (Yet?)

  1. I like to think that I only add books that I really like to read. I do have some books that got a lot of praise and I haven’t read them yet but that’s because I can’t get to them because they’re not review books. I also like a mix of old and new but I haven’t even found time to get to my ‘old’ pile with all the new titles that keep flashing in front of me :-). I plan on getting to them though because I don’t mind some oldies but goodies. I’m sure not everyone has read all the series yet so it will be interesting to some.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t read the Darker Shades series either!! I’ve heard such amazing things about it. I need more time in a day to read all these books! Strange the Dreamer was AMAZING!!! It’s a bit hard to get into but the writing is just so beautiful and the story is so original. Enjoy all of these when you can get to them 🙂

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  3. I think we all have felt this way, it’s quite common to feel drawn to a book when it has so much hype and of course it might cross your mind that it would be good if you review it too but I think we should only pick up those we are honestly intrigued by… It’s a bit like cover buying — we can’t let the popularity of a book get the better of us otherwise we’ll be stuck with a bunch of books that we might never read.

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  4. This is such an interesting post, Lauren, and I have been asking myself the very same questions. Sometimes I add books to my TBR because they are so popular and I don’t want to be out of the loop by NOT reading them – however, they just stay on my TBR and I’m not getting to them soon because I’m not that interested in them anymore, or it was just the hype that made me curious but not necessarily the synopsis. It’s definitely important to remember to read the books we WANT TO, not the books we are “told to” read 🙂
    That being said, I hope you’ll give ADSOM a try – I’m a huge contemporary fan as you know, yet I was really glad to branch out a bit – I was pleasantly surprised by this series 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m definitely going to be more mindful of the books I choose to read (especially the ones I’m buying). Having said that, I don’t want to be too close-minded and miss out on books I could’ve loved if I’d given them a chance. I think it’s a fine balance 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I have been reading books I think I will like. Many of them happen to be popular, but I have also read some lesser known books too. I made a point of requesting a lot of debuts. The part that bums me out, is that a post about a popular book will get more views and comments than the smaller book. But, there are a ton of popular books I have not read (3 of them are pictured on this page). I am more partial to contemporaries than anything else, and I don’t really like sad books. So, even if it’s hyped/popular, I probably won’t read it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve noticed the same thing (mostly on other people’s blogs): smaller / books from indie publisher get a lot less views and interactions. It’s really sad, especially since it’s already hard to get a lot of views and interactions for reviews in general (people seem to prefer discussion posts, tags, etc.)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What an interesting topic! I read another post talking about hype too. XD Anyways, I think that I personally get to know about books FROM the hype… if it weren’t so popular, I probably wouldn’t know about it. I’M NOT THAT IMMERSED IN THE BOOK COMMUNITY. XD For me, I’m neutral on hype. I find that a lot of books I get from popularity — and a lot I enjoy! But sometimes I don’t and that’s okay.

    Of those six books you listed, I’ve read three and I loved them all! The other three I want to read as well — but not because of the hype; because it just sounds INTERESTING. So for me, some books I want to read “just to see my opinions”, but ither hyped books I want to read because they sound intriguing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right. Sometimes hype is a good thing because you get to read things you might’ve skipped otherwise.
      I’m glad you liked them and that you genuinely want to read the others. That’s the way it should be 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve added popular books because I want to be in on the conversation and know what all the fuss is about. I don’t think I’ve ever walked into a book thinking I wouldn’t like it, because I usually don’t read the hyped books that don’t sound interesting to me. But I think there is a certain degree of pressure because you as a blogger want to be able to talk about these books.

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  8. I’m an extremely curious person so I can not resist hyped books 90% of the time. Of course if it’s a plot I don’t think I’m going to enjoy like a straight up romance then I won’t read it, but otherwise I normally find myself adding it to my TBR. I don’t think we should HAVE to read hyped books though. I guess the more popular books create more stats, but if you don’t think you’re going to enjoy a book you shouldn’t have to read it just because it’s popular!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can’t resist hyped books either, but, you’re right, we should only read them if we genuinely believe we’re going to enjoy them


  9. I like reading hyped books, but I think reading overlooked new releases helps too as well as books released in the last few years. For me as a blogger I have to follow my interest, so I read a fair amount of backlist and a few new releases here and there.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Yes! I agree with this completely! There have been plenty of times I feel I have to read a book because it was popular, and not because I actually want to. I do try to be more strict now and thoroughly read descriptions to find out exatly what I’m going to be reading before getting into the story, but I am still drawn in by the hype sometimes. There are plenty of hyped books I haven’t read and frankly don’t plan on reading anytime soon, but there is always that small part of me that thinks ‘hmm maybe I should, just to say that I have read it, or so I can see what is so exciting about it’. You summed this feeling up so well!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!
      And, yes, I completely agree with what you said. I’m trying to be more strict now too so I only read what I actually want to read. But it’s still tough because sometimes I feel like I’m ‘missing out’.


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