24 November 2008

Musing Mondays: Gotta Read

Here's this week's Musing Monday's (now hosted by Just One More Page!). To see the full meme and to read other answers, click here.

Here we go: How do you feel about wide-spread reading phenomena--Harry Potter, for instance, or the more current Twilight Saga? Are these books so widely read for a reason or merely fads or crazes? Do you feel compelled to read--or not to read--these books because everyone else is?

I'm usually not taken in by reading phenomena. In fact, such hype usually turns me off completely. And I'm almost always disappointed by best-sellers and the current fad. That said, I can be talked into reading the current popular book if someone I respect encourages me.

I read the first Harry Potter because YA fantasy has always been a favorite genre, and I'm happy that there is so much more to choose from in the post-Harry world. Unfortunately, once the series was a phenomenon, Rowling's editors became timid, and the later novels are not as tight as the earlier ones.

I read the Twilight books because I my niece (C) encouraged me. I enjoyed the general idea of the books, I loved discussing them with C, and it's fun to be in the know. But I would probably not have finished the series on my own because of weaknesses in the plots.

So, no, I'm not taken in by the current fad; in fact, wild popularity often turns into a reverse barometer for me. However, I will read the book if it's a favorite genre or if someone I know talks me into it.


Mae 11/24/08, 8:48 AM  

It *is* fun to be in the know and be able to discuss books with kids rather than the latest video game. I get rather turned off by the intense hype and wait for it to die down considerably because opening the book.

bermudaonion 11/24/08, 8:49 AM  

I read and enjoyed the Harry Potter books, but haven't gotten into Twilight. My son got me into the HP books, but he didn't finish the series and I did. He got tired of people telling him he looks like Harry.

Bluestocking 11/24/08, 9:28 AM  

LOL that's funny that your son looks like Harry Bermudaoian. I guess boys are flattered by that sort of thing like girls are.

Beth F 11/24/08, 9:35 AM  

Mae: talking about the latest book craze with your kids strengthens your connection.

Bermuda (Kathy): I can only imagine what your son must have gone through!

Bluestocking: Boys and girls do react so differently!

Michele at Reader's Respite 11/24/08, 10:05 AM  

I usually avoid them until they fall into my lap. But then, with the Harry Potter series at least, I kick myself for missing out because I end up loving them.

Twilight..ummm...first one was great and I couldn't let the rest of the series go unread which led me to the last in the series which I still to this day believe is one of the worst books I've ever read, ha ha. But still....glad I did if for no other reason than I get to have an opinion on the books (and boy oh boy do I love having an opinion, LOL).

Lisa 11/24/08, 10:10 AM  

I typically stay away from the 'fad'books too. Now if it's an author I like or topic, then I would read it, but not just because its the 'in' thing. My BFF's 15 yr old has read all the Twilight books, but I got the impression she was only doing it to 'keep up' with her friends. AND, she made it like a race to finish before anyone else did, so I wonder: Did she even comprehend and appreciate the story or was it just to be first? That's so far away from where my mindset is. I tried to ask her about the book - if she liked it, her thoughts on it and I got very little feedback.

Personally I'm not into that genre so I'll never read it, but I am curious about Harry Potter. Who knows, maybe one day . . .

Sherry 11/24/08, 11:42 AM  

Hi Beth,

I agree with your take on the Da Vinci Code. It worked out well for starting a neighborhood book club but it was poorly written (had thoughts of a drinking game everytime I read that the female protagonist's eyes were green!) The puzzles were entertaining.

Maybe if I enjoyed fantasy, I would have been more inclined to try HP or Twilight but I'm more of a nonfiction - memoir reader. Has there ever been a fad memoir?

Thanks for stopping by.

Beth F 11/24/08, 11:48 AM  

Sherry: hummm. The closest I can come is either John Adams (biography, not memoir) or Out of Africa (more of a memoir).

Matt 11/24/08, 3:08 PM  

I'm so eclectic and spontaneous that my reading ideas could be very capricious. I do always have a few books lined up and see where my mood takes me. Hype is not enough to persuade me on reading a book. :)

Ladytink_534 11/24/08, 8:15 PM  

Hmm... thats a new one to me. I don't flock to fads but I don't stay away either if it sounds good lol.

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