You know those books that everyone and their mothers are reading? Those covers you can’t avoid anywhere? The ones hailed as the saviors of publishing, as proof that America still reads?
I avoid them like the plague.
Call it my own private form of going against “the man.” A private rebellion, if you will.
Now, I do usually try to give them a chance; as much of a chance as I give any book: I read the description. Maybe a review. In fact, due to the overpopularity of such books, and the fact that I subscribe to a number of book-oriented blogs, I usually can’t avoid seeing at least one review or article about these books. But after the first five or so, I simply stop reading them, and, I admit, each additional piece, positive or negative, tends to turn me off even more.
I prefer to find books organically, trusting my own personal preference rather than the opinions of perhaps millions of strangers. I have read enough over the years that I have a good sense of what I do and do not like. I can usually tell within a matter of sentences on a review or book cover whether or not I’ll like a book. So all it takes is one exposure for me to hunt down even obscure books.
Thus, if I do end up reading an uber-popular book, it usually is either because I found it before the masses did, or I rediscovered it after the hubbub had died down.
For instance, I can proudly say that I read Harry Potter before the world became obsessed. And I am still a huge fan, as anyone who knows me can attest.
I am also in love with the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a book I avoided for a long time before succumbing when my mother suggested it to me, towards the end of its glory days.
So I suppose it’s a bit of a pride thing, akin to why hipsters listen to music no one else has heard of. But it also allows me to find, and support, some of the thousands of other authors out there with equally wonderful, or often better, books than the current phenomenon. Because once I find a book I love, I will recommend it till my face (or computer) turns blue (screen of death).