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.