More often than not, I myself rushing to Goodreads to add a book to my TBR.
Whether it’s after blog-hopping and reading some incredible blog post, scrolling down twitter and seeing everyone screaming about the latest cover reveal for a very anticipated read, seeing a beautiful book cover over on bookstagram (despite not having one, I’m still lurking because y’all are so damn beautiful)….it’s like something takes over my mind. I see this book and I feel like: I need to add this to my TBR.
It’s the same story when I get to travel and find myself in the presence of goodness: shelves filled with young adult books in bookstores. I find myself compulsively putting way more books than I can afford into my hands and making a pile of them all. It’s funny, because 99% of the books I have in my hands, every time, are books I’ve heard only great things about from the book blogging community.
☂️ Related blog post: 10 books bloggers made me read (and I love them forever for it)
It’s funny, because my Goodreads TBR has over 400 books and, sometimes, I’m wondering whether or not I really want to read them all.
But why the hell, Marie, you’d ask, would you add books to your TBR you aren’t even remotely interested in? Why the hell would you make a gigantic pile of books you’ve heard of, but sometimes aren’t even remotely aware of whether or not they’re actually for you? Well…. let me ask you the same question.
Did you ever find yourself adding books, almost compulsively to your TBR? Did you ever find yourself needing a special book, right this very second…. because of the hype?
Oh, yes. The hype monster, crawling into your bed right back again. Whether we want it or not, I feel like we’ve all been victims of it.
Sometimes, it’s all for the best, because this book you’re adding to your TBR will end up being one of your favorite books of all times. Look at me, for instance, adding The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo to my TBR, because of the hype. Look at me, months later, still thinking about this damn book every single day because it was so good.
Sometimes, it’s not really all for the best, because you find yourself with books on your Goodreads TBR you don’t remember adding, books in your hands you find so pretty and have heard a whole damn lot about, but why did you take it off the bookstore’s shelves again when it doesn’t really appeal to you, at all?
The real question here is… why. Why do I have these hyped books in my hands, on my TBR, in my basket ready to be bought?
Why do I care so much about hyped books?
For me, it’s because they make us feel part of something big. Most of it all, they make me feel part of the community even more. When everyone can’t stop talking about a book…. we can’t help but being curious. We can’t help but want to feel part of this frenzy, too, we can’t help but want to scream and fangirl with everyone about it all, too. I know I do.
When I read Red, White and Royal Blue, I felt part of something big, this giant group of people screaming about how good this was. I was happy. I adored it all.
When I heard about King of Scars, The Wicked King, Aurora Rising, Wilder Girls, The Priory of the Orange Tree…. I almost wanted to get that happiness again. Then, I wondered.
Do I really want to read these books?
I deeply apologize for those of you familiar, deeply in love with these titles and everything, but… personally and despite all of the hype, the answer to that question, for me, is a big fat no. None of these books appeal to me too much at the moment despite their stunning praise and beautiful covers.
The hype helps us pick some books we love, but it’s also a traitor. It makes us want to add books we’re sometimes not that into because… just because everyone else is, so why not us?
The hype is a freaking traitor, because where is my hype for the books I adore? Where are the people hyping up Nothing Left To Burn, this stunningly brilliant debut I can’t stop thinking about? Where are my people screaming about my quiet contemporary reads that shattered my heart into a million pieces? Why don’t people add these books compulsively to their TBRs? I can’t control the hype monster with my contemporary lover tastes, even though I wish I could, but at my scale, I can scream about it, make their own hype and hopefully make you want to add them to your TBRs, too.
☂️ Related blog post: 10 books that deserve more hype
I don’t know the secret of hype. I don’t know whether or not I want to read all the 400+ books on my Goodreads TBR anymore and, when you just don’t know what happened to you, suck into a vacuum made by the community, made by yourself, your own expectations and deep, deep need to be part of something bigger….. well, it’s time.
It’s time to clean your TBR, book by book. It’s time to focus on the books you love. To shut all the noise out and focus on that synopsis and wonder. Do I really want to read this book, or does the hype make me want to?
No matter what, you should focus on what you love. It’s nice to be part of the hype, but you know what? It’s also even nicer to have books you are genuinely excited about, yourself, in your heart, no matter what everyone around you says.
When it comes to this, I’m a work in progress, but I’m proud of the work I’ve accomplished. I’ll scream along with the hype for these books I’m also genuinely excited about and, if there are books everyone has read and I haven’t, well I’ll happily be the black sheep, for once. Or at least, I’ll try.
Do you often find yourself a victim of the hype? Did you ever add, or wanted to add books to your TBR, only because everyone talked about them?
Do you have any books you only read because they were hyped and ended up loving them…. or hating them? I’d love to hear your thoughts in comments!