Stop Hyping Up Books. You’re Ruining it For Everyone.

D’you know what drives me bonkers? Book hype. That’s one of the many things that drive me bonkers. I get it. I’ve even been guilty of participating on occassion. But I don’t like it. Let me explain.

When you read a book that you love, you want to tell everyone about it, right? You want to rave about how amazing it is, how fantastic the story is, how you’re in love with this character or that, how the author got right to the depths of your soul and set off fireworks. You want to fangirl/fanboy.

It’s entirely natural. A drive, a need even. I understand, I really do. But you’ve got to stop it.

Despite your good intentions, I reckon your fangirling/boying is actually doing the book a disservice. You’re ruining the book for everyone else – and I don’t just mean in terms of those unintentional spoilers that might slip out (and, for your information, telling me it has a happy or sad ending is just as bad as telling me that Fred dies and Mildred has a baby).

Dessert_Serving.jpgIt’s all about expectation. High expectations mean that the book has to work pretty damn hard to satisfy you. The same goes for everything – that night out you’ve been planning for months is rarely as fun as you imagined, that fancy dessert that looks amazing often doesn’t taste as good as it looks, that TV show everyone’s raving about doesn’t quite cut the mustard.

That time you just popped out for one beer that turned into seven, however, or when you were dreading going out but ended up having an amazing time – that’s the most satisfying. Low expectations are easy to meet and easy to exceed, meaning that you’ll get a better experience all round.

The same applies to books. When you’ve got low expectations and the book turns out to be great, the pleasure you experience significantly outweights the pleasure you get from a book you expected to be amazing and turned out to be merely good. So when you’ve heard lots of people go on about how amazing a book is because of this or that reason, it’s bound to lead to disappointment.

download (1)Of course, recommendations and word-of-mouth are the back-bone of the publishing industry and of course, I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t recommend a book. Quite the opposite in fact – I love recommendations. Tell me you enjoyed it, pass it along, and then go and rave about it in a review or with other fans who’ve already read the book.

But please, please, please don’t hype it up out of all proportion because you’re only ruining it for everyone.

What do you think? Do you agree with me or do you like all the book hype?

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  1. I agree. Hype has ruined a lot of stuff for me from movies to books. It’s disappointing when something you’ve heard it meant to be great ends up becoming a big snooze-fest. I’ve learned to stop buying into hype and I’ve even stopped checking reviews from critics. At the end of the day if I’m going to enjoy something it’s because I like it, not because other people have told me to like it.

    1. Yeah, I’ve learned not to listen to the hype too, but it’s hard not to get swept away by it sometimes. Oddly, I tend to read reviews after having read a book/watched a film lol. Not sure why, I suppose I just like to see what other people thought, and see if they could see anything in it that I couldn’t.

      1. I’m in the same boat! I sometimes read reviews of things I’ve watched/read/played after I’m done with them. I think it’s just the curiosity of seeing what the general public thought of the movie/show/book/game. About 75% of the time I find myself in agreement with what’s said.

  2. Lol, “that Fred dies and Mildred has a baby.” You crack me up! I have to say I’m definitely guilty of “fangirling,” especially because I see the beauty in so many things and seem to have a natural ability to exaggerate. But you’re right. The reason I hate the movie “Titanic” is because of the hype. As movies go, maybe I’d give it a solid 3 stars, but the hype drove me crazy and I never want to see it again. Once was enough. On the other hand, had I been the one to discover it on my own, I might have a different opinion. 🙂

    1. Oh I’m absolutely guilty of it too sometimes. It’s hard not to fangirl when you love something so much but as you say, it can change your whole opinion of something – a book, a film, whatever – in a negative way.

      I suppose what I’m trying to say is that we should all at least try to not raise other people’s expectations too much, for fear of leading them to disappointment.

  3. I’m put off by the ‘Must buy, No 1, Best Seller, Everyone is reading’ hype, and being an individual (e.g. stubborn) 😉 have probably missed out on some good books purely because I’m ‘told’ to buy them. I’ve read some excellent books most people will never have heard of, and this is where reviews come into their own, especially for the relatively unknown Indie authors.

    1. lol Voinks, you’re not the only stubborn one! I’ve definitely done that in the past, especially with TV shows. It’s like balking at the thought of being a sheep haha

      Reviews are great though – I suppose in part because you get to rave about what you loved but without throwing it in anyone’s faces. If someone is reading a review, they know what they are potentially letting themselves in for and that’s cool.

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