ebookclassics

2016 Book Blogger Discussion Challenge – Should I Just Read Popular Books?

2016-Discussion-Challenge

Lately, I haven’t had a clue what I feel like reading. I’ve stopped and dropped many books over the past three months because the story just couldn’t hold my attention. Then it occurred to me: What if I just read the most popular books? The”book club books” or the ones on the bestseller list. What if I just searched “most popular” in my app and used that as my reading list? Surely, there are some guaranteed good reads to be found.

PROS

•  Good chance I will enjoy the book
•  Good odds non-bookish people will have heard of the book instead of giving me an awkward blank stare
•  Good discussions surely to be had with other bloggers/readers

CONS

•  Popular books can be very hit and miss (mostly miss, as pointed out in this post)
•  I wouldn’t be supporting the work of lesser known authors who badly deserve attention
•  This method wouldn’t necessarily satisfy my need for certain stories or characters or feelings from a book
•  This method is kind of silly

What are your thoughts? Does the popularity of a book influence your decision to read it? Do you fall for hype? Or tell me about a popular book you dismissed, but ended up loving?

Check out this month’s discussion posts on Feed Your Fiction Addiction or It Starts at Midnight.

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38 comments on “2016 Book Blogger Discussion Challenge – Should I Just Read Popular Books?

  1. jennielyse
    April 13, 2016

    Sometimes. I usually add a book to my TBR list if a lot of people are raving about it, but I don’t necessarily read it right then and there. I’m very much a mood reader, so I have to be in the mood to read it or I just won’t. I don’t care what it is, I won’t pick it up.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      April 14, 2016

      Mood reader is a great way of putting it! I feel that’s where I am right now. I’ve spent way too much time lately reading book descriptions and nothing much has felt right.

      Like

  2. majoringinliterature
    April 14, 2016

    I think it depends. On the one hand, popularity makes me curious to see what all the fuss is about. On the other hand, there are some popular books that you already know are terrible, and there’s therfore no need to bother reading them (*cough* 50 Shades of Grey *cough*).

    I think there’s definitely a case to be made for focusing on smaller, less well-known authors, but I do think that popularity might also be a useful tool if you’ve found yourself struggling to find something to grab your attention. Popular books also have more reviews on places like Goodreads, so if you tend to read reviews before you start a book it might help you develop an impression of it. 🙂

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      April 14, 2016

      I actually considered reading 50 Shades just to understand what everyone was talking about, but felt conflicted about whether it’s a good enough reason to read it when there are so many other books of better quality. I do like to browse on Goodreads and blogger reviews are definitely helpful.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Julie
    April 14, 2016

    Popular books are popular for a reason…usually because people really like them! I think they are more often a hit than a miss. I read a lot of books on the best seller lists, but only dealing with topics I like. I don’t read vampire novels, or much space, science fictiony type stuff. I really didn’t think I would like Game of Thrones…but I felt like the only one who hadn’t read the books (or watched the series), so I gave it a shot…and loved them! I also didn’t expect to like The Fault in Our Stars as much as I did. The Mississauga Library has a “raves and faves” section that I like to peruse while I’m there. I’ve found some interesting reads there. They also do a theme sometimes and showcase certain books within that theme. I’ve also come across books there that I normally wouldn’t pick up otherwise. I also look to see what friends are reading, especially if they have similar tastes.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      April 14, 2016

      I like seeing staff picks at the library or bookstore too because I trust their judgment. That’s a good point that popular books or bestsellers can be very genre-focused. Looking at those lists, there’s a lot of Lee Child, Nora Roberts, James Patterson, John Green.

      Like

  4. jessicabookworm
    April 14, 2016

    Too much hype can put me off books – not for life but I tend to read them later when things have died down a bit.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      April 14, 2016

      I hear you! If I ever read Girl On the Train it will be many years from now. That marketing campaign was incredibly overbearing and difficult to get away from.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Brown Books and Green Tea
    April 14, 2016

    I like to do a healthy mix– I find that reading a popular book every once in a while will keep people coming to my blog. I also like to read from different genres, so picking a popular book can still allow me a wide variety.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      April 14, 2016

      Balance is probably key. I also feel that I need to read at least one or two popular books if I’m going to keep people interested in my blog, but also to have something I can talk about either on my blog or their blog. Or even people I meet in general in real life.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. AJ Sterkel
    April 14, 2016

    Interesting question. I read whatever intrigues me. It doesn’t matter to me whether it’s popular or not. I read a lot of classics and older books, but I think my blog would get a lot more hits if I read popular books.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      April 14, 2016

      I like to read what intrigues me as well, but wondered if my odds of picking a good book were greater by focusing on popular titles. I think you can’t go wrong with a lot of the classics, but again there’s that mood thing.

      Like

  7. Naomi
    April 14, 2016

    Reading a popular book that you think you might like might be a good way to get you out of a slump, even if it’s not the way you would normally pick out your books. I’ll sometimes reach for one of my daughter’s YA books, because I know it will be quick (which makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something).

    Liked by 1 person

    • ebookclassics
      April 14, 2016

      I was thinking I should just try a Lee Child or Nora Roberts book as an experiment. Something very different than what I normally read to see if I would be surprised and love it. I enjoy reading some YA such as dystopians, but have a difficult time if the story is focused on relationships or surviving high school, etc. But there are exceptions, such as when we all read When Everything Feels Like the Movies.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Naomi
        April 14, 2016

        What about Stephen King? So many choices. Let us know what you decide to read!

        Like

        • ebookclassics
          April 14, 2016

          I do like Stephen King and have read many of his books, but definitely that whole paperback at the grocery store type book that sells millions of copies.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. Julie
    April 14, 2016
    • ebookclassics
      April 14, 2016

      Thank you for sharing! This is a great chart and I actually have either read some of these books or they are on my TBR, but I may be adding more now.

      Like

  9. ebookclassics
    April 14, 2016

    Hi friends! I just tried this what new book should you read for Spring quiz from Buzzfeed Books if anyone else is having a hard time picking like me.

    Like

    • lauratfrey
      April 14, 2016

      I got Eligible and I am INTO it. hehe.

      Like

      • ebookclassics
        April 14, 2016

        I had to Google it. Is it the Pride and Prejudice retelling? Looks pretty good. I was thrown off that the female author’s name is Curtis.

        Like

  10. Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy
    April 14, 2016

    Oh I’m very guilty of falling for hype. I think that if a lot of people, especially bloggers I know, love a book than I feel more positive about reading it, and also it is nice to be able to talk to people about that book. But there are so many books that I adore that I feel like not alot of people I know have read, so really I can go both ways! 🙂 I hope your next read will wow you!

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      April 14, 2016

      I have fallen for hype many times and the results have probably been 50/50. I would like to hear more about the books you adore.

      Like

  11. Brian Joseph
    April 14, 2016

    This is a really interesting topic.

    I rarely stop reading a book once I have started it, but I am really careful about what I read.

    I would be against reading just popular books for the reasons that you yourself mention.

    With that, it might be a good idea to use the criteria of popularity for your next few choices in order for you to get back in the groove.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      April 14, 2016

      I feel you’ve been very good about focusing on classics and you inspire me to stay on track of my own goal to read more classics. You can’t go wrong with classics in a way too, as they are always on “read before you die” lists.

      Like

  12. lauratfrey
    April 14, 2016

    You should do it. Pick one and I’ll read it with you. I call these “basic bitch books” (usually with my inside voice haha)

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      April 14, 2016

      I love that inside voice! Looking at the bestseller lists, how about The Witness by Sandra Brown or The Liar by Nora Roberts?

      Like

  13. DoingDewey
    April 18, 2016

    I feel like book bloggers are also more likely to have read popular books, or at least the books that are currently popular among book bloggers – perhaps different than best sellers – and I like that because it can lead to good conversation. I recently reviewed The Guernsey LIterary Peel and Potato Society and I was incredibly surprised by how many comments my review got, but it makes sense since it’s an older, popular book that many people will probably have read. I definitely don’t think only reading popular books would be the best way for me to pick books though. I’m too much of a mood reader for that 🙂

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      April 20, 2016

      I really like how a popular book among book bloggers can elevate its status and bring it to the attention to others who may not have heard of it before. I definitely discover a lot of books this way.

      Like

  14. heather
    April 19, 2016

    I tend to read more backlist because there are so many good books out there that I just haven’t gotten to yet. I must be in the minority because a lot of the books that people just love are ones that I don’t really care for. I don’t think I’d do well with a popular books challenge. I like the find the odd books that no one has ever heard of!

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      April 20, 2016

      Reading backlist books is one of my goals this year. Not necessarily because I feel like I need to catch up, but backlists seem to be a great source for good books.

      Like

  15. ebookclassics
    April 20, 2016

    Friends, I’m reading The Liar by Nora Roberts as my “popular” book choice for this Saturday’s readathon. Stay tuned!

    Like

  16. Pingback: What’s a Readathon, anyway? | Reading in Bed

  17. Krysta
    May 1, 2016

    I really don’t care if a book is popular or not. If it looks interesting, I’ll read it, regardless of how many other people hated it or loved it. My tastes are necessarily going to align with the tastes of a majority.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      May 12, 2016

      I agree that staying true to one’s personal taste in books is better than wasting time on books that are popular, but you just don’t enjoy.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Citra Florenca
    May 10, 2016

    I used to think I need to read popular books, but thankfully I have outgrown this. Now, I prefer to read those hidden gems and there’s this satisfaction when I end up loving them. I feel good because I am able to give the attention they need.

    As for the chances that I will enjoy reading them is the same, be it popular books or the lesser known ones. Some popular books suck, some lesser known books are unforgettable and haunting, and since it is a very subjective subject, I don’t really take it seriously.

    Great post!

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      May 12, 2016

      Ooh, please share with us some of your hidden gems! I think there’s nothing better than hearing about a good book from a blogger or fellow bookworm rather than it being marketed or hyped to death.

      Like

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