Hello lovely readers,
My book-buying ban has spectacularly failed – although I am still intending to cut down significantly. I have pre-ordered some books that are coming out in February and March which I think I will really enjoy – and some are finales to trilogies that I’d like to finish this year. It’d be rude not to buy them.
When you’re trying not to spend spend spend, the hype becomes real. Books you hadn’t even heard of last week become a must-buy. It’s FOMO, and it feels real and urgent because everyone else is reading this book NOW.
Hype can be for a number of reasons. It can accumulate because a lot of book bloggers and vloggers have received copies – they’re hauling their copies in videos and gushing about how much they want to read it – and then the reviews come in, posted on blogs and vlogs and Goodreads. The book is appearing on your newsfeed and subscription list almost constantly and a book you were ‘meh’ about is now top of your to-buy list. Everyone else is reading it, why aren’t you?
The opposite can be true – a book can be hyped because only a few select bloggers have read it, and they loved it. This was the case with Caraval, where the hype began a full calendar year before the book was released. It was hard to get your hands on a copy of Caraval, and that drove up the hype ever more. Yet when I finally got my hands on the book, I was disappointed. It was still a fun read, but it didn’t live up to the expectations in my head.
Hype around certain books can be difficult to avoid – especially when you live on Book Twitter and Booktube – but I’ve been trying (and failing) recently to wait until a book is released into the world, and reviewed by more than the select few. Sometimes sky-high Goodreads ratings come tumbling down once the book has been released – and sometimes they stay high, and you’re genuinely going to be in for a great read.
One of my goals this year is to reduce the amount of money I spend on books – I want to reduce my TBR but also increase the quality of books I’m reading. If I know I’m not going to enjoy a book, I’d rather not read it. Part of this is also not subscribing to book subscription boxes – I already pick and choose which boxes I buy, and make sure it’s a book I know I want to read. That being said, I realised at the end of last year that I really struggle to pick up books that have come out of book boxes, even though I would have picked them up if I had bought them alone.
I’d love to know your views and experiences on book hype – let me know down in the comments or tweet me at @annalisebooks.
Loved this post so much!
I always worry about reading hyped books, especially when I get round to reviewing them and they didn’t live up to my expectations / disappointed me in some way.
But then I think, everyone should remember that reading is subjective… what you didn’t like, somebody else may love. And everyone is allowed their own opinion!
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Thank you! Very true on reading being subjective – I’ve been trying to avoid reading other reviews before diving into a book so I can form my own opinions but it’s not always easy!
Great post! I love books and although I read the majority on my kindle, I still love scouring second hand shops and books stores for hard copies of books. 🙂 what can I say? I’m a total book nerd! 😀
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I completely agree with you here! Book blogs and social media are so great for me to keep an eye on the book world and see whats due to come out and what’s being well received, but at the same time the hype is all over the place. I felt so much hype for Six of Crows and, while it was definitely good, it didn’t meet my high expectations the hype gave me, so I did feel a tad disappointed. I do still buy a few books due to hype, but I do tend to wait a few months after the book is released (and the buzz about it dies down) to actually purchase it, so I can make up my own mind. Thanks for this post, it’s very well written and full of wonderful points!
I so agree with you about this. Hyped books always intimidate me and I have been known to buy books based on the hype alone and then ended up sorely disappointed. The way I now deal with hyped books is to try and ignore it, let it die down and then see if the book is something I’m interested in. On top of that, I don’t plan on spending too much on books this year cause I want to cut down the pile of owned unread books I already own haha.
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