When Reading is a “Fad”

22 Sep

Announcements: 

During my latest interview, I had to fight a blush when The Random Book Blogger asked me which Take Me Tomorrow character I would marry if I had to chose one. Read my answer by clicking here, or read her book review by clicking here. The Random Book Blogger shared a favorite quote from the story, so I thought I would share it, too, “Family,” Noah emphasized, “is important.”  If you want to know why Noah said this, you can check out the book here. ::wink wink::

When Reading is a “Fad”

Fad, according to the dictionary, is “an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, especially one that is short-lived and without basis in the object’s qualities; a craze.”

I think we can all agree that fads happen in the reading community often. Even if you aren’t a reader, popular titles have taken over the big screen. Twilight, Divergent, Harry Potter, Fifty Shades of Grey, and The Fault in Our Stars were everywhere, and even more novels will pop up in the future. Anymore it seems like most movies are based on novels, which is understandable considering most major production companies want an audience before they spend millions creating a film for the big screen, but it has only increased the visibility of reading fads. In fact, bookstores have even changed. The one near my house have an entire shelf dedicated to books for the big screen, and it includes books that are currently in the theatre as well as books that will be released as movies later this year. Someone is always standing by that shelf, and it was my recent trip to the bookstore that forced me to think about this.

Are reading fads positive or negative? Should we pay attention to them or write them off as nothing but entertainment?

That’s what I’m talking about today. Below, I’m going to be focusing on the pros and cons of book fads, including why you should stay updated on the latest and why you shouldn’t care. (Because that’s the unbiased thing to do, right?)

trending-intro-image

photo from myshopsdiscount.com

Why you should care:

For me, this is a given, but I’m also involved in the publishing world. I want to know what’s in and what readers are talking about mainly because I’m obsessed with the book market (and it is a part of my job). That being said, I want to ignore that part of my life for a minute, and talk about this from strictly a reader’s perspective. It can be fun to share reads my friends and family who also read. By reading what is “in”, I’m increasing my chances to being up-to-date in my personal life as well as my work life or just plain ol’ conversations at the coffee shop. Paying attention to reading fads can be like paying attention to fashion fads. No one wears poodle skirts anymore, but people love that side braid, so I’m going to attempt that side braid, and when I try it, I might like it, and I might dislike it, but at least the trend pointed me to an opportunity I didn’t previously consider. Not a bad thing if I actually find myself enjoying what is “in”. (And that never means that I have to give up my traditional ponytail – a.k.a. my other books – that I’ve always loved and will continue to love).

Why you shouldn’t care:

Who cares if poodle skirts aren’t in anymore? I want to wear one, and I’m going to wear it to the bookstore. (Is this metaphor weird yet?) No one has to read what everyone is talking about because we don’t have to conform to the same conversations that everyone and their cousin is having. So what if everyone cannot wait until Valentine’s Day for Fifty Shades? Good for them. I can’t wait for chocolate, and that’s me. (Okay. Not going to lie. I probably will see the movie, but that’s for the top section. Oops.) But readers don’t have to care about what’s in or what might be in or what is in the theatres or whether or not they read the book before the film or even if there is a film at all. Just enjoy the entertainment like you want to, and if someone wants to talk about the in thing, let them (or talk about something else). There’s so much to discover in the world, and who knows? You might discover the next “big” thing before anyone else knows how big it is. That makes you a hipster. (In a good way….no PBR allowed…okay. Fine…PBR allowed, but only if the bookstore is BYOB).

In the end, there are many reasons as to why one reader might enjoy keeping up with the latest trends and there are just as many reasons not to. Being a reader means the reader is allowed to read whatever they want to for whatever reasons they want to. I have no problems with “fad” readers, and I have no issues with readers who strive to avoid trending books. I’ve personally found myself on both sides of the argument only to realize there shouldn’t be an argument at all.

Reading is what we enjoy, and that is enough for me.

~SAT

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13 Responses to “When Reading is a “Fad””

  1. cup112278 September 22, 2014 at 5:14 am #

    Great post! I also typically do read “faddy” books to calm my best friend’s urges that I must read this new book, or that one. And sometimes I like them, sometimes not so much. To date, I felt that Hunger Games and Divergent were fair, 50 Shades, ehhh….but at least I can contribute in societal conversations about them, right? 🙂

    • Shannon A Thompson September 22, 2014 at 12:57 pm #

      Glad you liked the post! Thank you for commenting with your experiences. I like reading suggestions, so I’ve probably picked up most trending books since someone has probably suggested it once or a dozen times, but I have disliked and loved some.
      ~SAT

  2. Mishka Jenkins September 22, 2014 at 5:34 am #

    A brilliant post!

    I have to admit, I haven’t read any of the fad books, but that’s generally just because I haven’t gotten around to it yet 😀

    I think anything that gets more people reading is an excellent thing!

  3. Charles Yallowitz September 22, 2014 at 7:38 am #

    Excellent points. I don’t really jump into the fads that often, so I tend to look at them from an outsider perspective. It’s great that they get people to read when they’d normally not touch a book. Some even move on to other series, which is great. The downside I run into with the fads is that the fans tend to be either belligerent or confused towards those that aren’t in their ‘realm’. I’m reminded of my wife not getting into Twilight because she preferred vampires like Angel, Spike, and Dracula. This ended up getting her into fights with friends who worshiped Twilight. Entertaining to watch because they could never truly defend the 4th book, but I think fads bring that fanaticism along, which can be a problem for some people. Though I know several people who were turned off to a series and went to an ‘opposing’ series simply to spite the other fans. People are strange.

    • Shannon A Thompson September 22, 2014 at 1:00 pm #

      Thank you for reading and commenting! I think you added another fantastic part of this issue. (If I can call it an issue.) Fans can get very passionate about books – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing until it spins out of control. This reminded of the fact that fans will also start fighting similar fans. (Like Twilight fans who read the books before they were popular fought with Twilight fans who were new to the books.) I always find that very strange.
      ~SAT

      • Charles Yallowitz September 22, 2014 at 1:15 pm #

        Totally forgot about the Book Vs Movie crowds. You see that crop up among Game of Thrones fans too. It gets pretty nasty too with the book fans hurling out spoilers whenever they’re angry. It’s rather bizarre because you’d think they’d at least be civil with each other.

      • Shannon A Thompson September 22, 2014 at 1:20 pm #

        Totally agree!
        ~SAT

  4. honya September 22, 2014 at 10:05 am #

    Great post; thanks for sharing! Personally, I try to avoid knowing what’s currently popular (or at least to pretend I don’t know) so I can read whatever I want to without seeing it through the cloud of what everyone else is saying about it. Weird, I know, but I truly enjoy books the most that way.

    • Shannon A Thompson September 22, 2014 at 1:02 pm #

      I don’t think that’s weird at all. :] I can admit that I’ve generally read the”popular” books before they got popular, and I was really glad in the sense that I felt that my reading experience wasn’t influenced and pressured in some way.
      ~SAT

  5. stephsgrn September 22, 2014 at 2:28 pm #

    Reblogged this on The Voices In My Head and commented:
    Very well said…

  6. nicholestark September 23, 2014 at 7:13 am #

    I don’t have much of an issue with fad books. Especially since growing up I always got looked at sideways for reading so much and a lot of people had zero interest in books at all. Now I find that a lot more people are exploring books, even if they are just the fad ones, and enjoy discussing them more. Its a great opportunity to introduce people to other materials that they wouldn’t have otherwise read and overall I think it encourages a love for reading. So I guess I’m ok with it.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. September Ketchup | Shannon A Thompson - September 30, 2014

    […] When Reading is a “Fad”: What’s “in” doesn’t matter – what matters is how we’re all […]

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