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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15 thoughts on “Hype, hype baby | Under pressure to read new and hyped books

  1. Great post! The only books that I’m requesting on NetGalley are the ones that I’m really looking forward to. I used to buy a lot of hyped books and then they just aren’t as amazing as I thought they would be. I wonder how many people hype up books just for the sake of the publishers, and not because they’re actually good. I’ve also learned that just because a publisher is pushing a certain book on, say, Twitter, that doesn’t mean it’s going to be a good book for me. I’ve learned to just read what I want to, rather than follow the hype. I now read a lot of adult literature and classics, but I find the hyped books tend to be lots of YA books.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you’re right about YA books being more hyped. I love YA and the community, but I feel like fans of YA tend to be a little more excitable perhaps? So that might be why it’s so common for YA books to be “hyped”.

      I’ve really been trying to be more disciplined on NetGalley as well because it’s so disappointing when a hyped book doesn’t live up to your expectations. It really does feel like once you get out of the hype zone that so much more opens up to you reading-wise.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been trying to reconsider the “hyped” books as well. There’s been more than a couple where I’ve really had to wonder why I read this and couldn’t come up with any other reason. Glad your new plan is working for you though!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have very little free time outside of my home life and my career, so blogging, for me, is just for fun. Same with reading. I’m picky about what I read because my free time is limited, I don’t like to waste my time reading and reviewing books I don’t like, so I’ve never really worried about being the first to read a new book. I typically only buy books that are used or deeply discounted (so, not many new books). And I’m incredibly impatient, so if the first book in a series is brand new, I’d rather wait until the whole series is out so I’m not dying LOL! And Netgalley gives me anxiety because it makes reading feel more like a chore than fun.

    Anyway, all this to say, I really enjoy this post and completely understand. I found out quickly to just have fun with blogging and not try to follow trends that I don’t enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re so right! While it’s fun sometimes to get to read a book before other people, that shouldn’t be your main focus or else you’re probably not reading/blogging for the right reasons. It’s so important to just relax with it and enjoy what you’re doing. Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I try to stay semi on top of new releases just because I need to be knowledgeable in talking about books, but the reality is there are far too many new releases for any one person to read–even if you gave up reading any other kind of book. So I find ones I might be interested in and read them, and let the rest go. The Cruel Prince, for instance, seems like it will be huge, but I’m not a fan of the author’s other work and I don’t like the sound of the summary. So I don’t plan on reading it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve had some nasty experiences with book hype in the past… One of its victims was, for me, The Mortal Instruments series. I cannot begin to tell you how often people would peer pressure me into reading it because “what even are your priorities” and “it’s incredibly brilliant you HAVE to check it out” and then I started seeing it online and… Honestly, it was a trip. One day, I decided I was feeling and picked it up- now, although I did like the idea and the plot, it’s safe to say it didn’t live up to the hype… So I totally get you! It definitely sucks. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I totally see your point. I think that series is more nostalgia for me at this point since I started reading it in high school. But yeah, sometimes I read these hyped books and I’m just like, “This isn’t even that good! Sorry, not sorry.”

      Liked by 1 person

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