Hype, hype baby | Under pressure to read new and hyped books

This is a blog post idea that has been bouncing around my head for a little bit, but yesterday it kind of came to a boiling point. I kept seeing posts about one book in particular (it was the book’s release day). Bloggers, authors, EVERYONE was raving about this book and talking about how excited they were to finally receive and read it. This is the book in question:

The Belles

So I’m just like, yes pretty cover, I understand. But then I went to read the synopsis on Goodreads and it left me feeling just…confused.

confused gif supernatural jensen ackles

It legitimately doesn’t sound interesting to me AT ALL. There is no part of that synopsis that appeals to me and I don’t even really understand what the book is supposed to be about. But here’s the thing: I marked it as “Want to Read” anyway.

Why did I do that? Even now I’m not totally sure. I’m usually pretty good at resisting peer pressure and I’m not really afraid to share my unpopular opinions, but hearing how excited everyone else was about this particular book, I thought that I must be missing something. So I guess FOMO is why I did it?

FOMO gif The Office Steve Carell Michael Scott

Something that I really enjoyed from my hiatus was completely unplugging from the book scene. I didn’t check my blog, I didn’t check other blogs, I didn’t even really go on Goodreads except to update my reading progress. This made it so I wasn’t really aware of what new books were coming out, what other people were hyping, etc. I also didn’t request ARCs on NetGalley during this time. I felt like I had this new freedom to read books that had been sitting on my shelf for a while (physical and digital). I also had time to do some rereads that I’d been meaning to get to.

I apologize for the rambliness of this post, but in the end it just got me thinking about how much pressure we put on ourselves as bloggers to read the newest thing, the most hyped thing. We want to stay relevant so that means keeping up with everything that’s happening RIGHT NOW. We have to read the latest books and hop on the newest trends immediately or else we’ll get left behind. Except…I don’t think it’s really like that. I like reading reviews about newer books, but I also like reading reviews about older ones–maybe ones that I’ve read a few years back or ones that I’ve been meaning to read for a while.

What I’ve learned through all of this: It’s okay to not be the very first one to read and review something. Accepting this idea has helped me to relax as a blogger and as a reader. Changes I have noticed:

  • I’m not requesting as many ARCs on NetGalley
  • I feel less pressure to try to get publishers to send me physical ARCs
  • Because I don’t have as many ARCs to review, my reading schedule is more open which allows me to mood read more or read the books that have been piling up on my shelves or reread old favorites
  • I don’t feel the urge to buy as many books since what I want to read is usually available at the library–no holds (and I’m also actually reading books that I already own)
  • I’m reading books that I WANT to read, not just books that I feel like I SHOULD read

So there you have it. I’ve officially removed The Belles from my “Want to Read” shelf on Goodreads. I’m still open to reading it in the future, but I’m not going to let myself be pressured into reading it just by its initial hype.

Let me know how you feel about book hype in the comments! Is it helpful, damaging, or neutral? Do you have any similar experiences to mine? How did it turn out?
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