Thursday 4 September 2008

Under Pressure

It's been a while since I did a Booking Through Thursday, which is largely because I haven't blogged on a Thursday for a while. This Thursday also saw the first venture of Our Vicar and Stuck-in-a-Book in a car, L-plates and all... not a complete success. My confidence has taken a little dent, but the car has not, so we shall continue tomorrow. Just be thankful on Our Vicar's nerves that I'd got this far before coming home to practise.

Anyway. Back to Booking Through Thursday:

I was looking through books yesterday at the shops and saw all the Twilight books, which I know basically nothing about. What I do know is that I’m beginning to feel like I’m the *only* person who knows nothing about them.

Despite being almost broke and trying to save money, I almost bought the expensive book (Australian book prices are often completely nutty) just because I felt the need to be ‘up’ on what everyone else was reading.

Have you ever felt pressured to read something because ‘everyone else’ was reading it? Have you ever given in and read the book(s) in question or do you resist? If you are a reviewer, etc, do you feel it’s your duty to keep up on current trends?

Well, I haven't the smallest idea what the Twilight books are so that makes at least two of us. Perhaps it's an Australian phenomenon. And have I ever felt pressured to read something because 'everyone else' was reading it? Erm... not that I can think.

Regular readers of Stuck-in-a-Book will know that my reading tends to be off the beaten track, to the extent that I (to continue the metaphor) get lost in an overgrown meadow, wandering around without any idea where the beaten track is. Occasionally a book will be talked about on so many blogs that I feel I have to read it - Rachel Ferguson's The Brontes Went To Woolworths springs to mind - but rarely have I succumbed to a modern book through this persuasion. I did buy Kate Morton's The House at Riverton, but I still haven't read it... every now and then I look at the pretty cover...

If someone directly recommends something to me, or a blogger I love mentions a book, that's a different kettle of fish. That's not pressure; that's pleasure.

I suppose I might qualify as a reviewer, but I've never felt any real need to keep up with the trends - I'm realistic: blog-readers who want to know what the movers and shakers of the literary world are up to will glance at my tatty 1930s hardbacks and weathered Virago paperbacks and run for the hills. Stuck-in-a-Book, I hope, caters to the sort of people whose hearts leap with joy at the thought of those things! Of course, I do write about new books (dead authors rarely send review copies) and love some of them; my reading, however, will continue to meander over the past couple centuries or more. Oh, it's much more fun that way!

As usual, the same question over to you...


  1. Good answer. You'll find my posted on my blog.

  2. "Perhaps it's an Australian phenomena". You should employ a proof-reader.
    Anyhow, do you ever get the feeling that you actually avoid books because you are under pressure to read them?

  3. I've also been wondering if I'm missing out by not knowing anything about those Twilight books. But I have a lot to read already...
    Michelle in Sydney

  4. I've never even HEARD of the Twilight books and now I still none the wiser!
    My PF volume is in-waiting by the side of my bed along with The Rebecca diaries but I seem to be taking decades to finish The garlic Ballads.

  5. If memory serves the 'Twilight' books are the next big thing in America, and are being heralded as 'The New Harry Potter'. However, according to a friend, they are completely terrible and about vampires that can go into the daylight, but sparkle when the do ... I'm not touching them with a ten foot barge pole!

    However, I do find that hype, or at least a lot of people talking about one book at the same time, compells me to buy. I know I've found some real gems since starting my blog, and I know that in general anything you or DGR recommend, I am bound to love!

  6. Interesting! I do sometimes feel pressure (internal) to read what "everyone" is reading. However, I have a lot of internal pressure to just read more in general!
    On the Twilight books, incidentally, several friends have recommended those, so I'll be picking them up on their recommendations. As you said, no pressure, just pleasure. :)
    Good questions!

  7. Simon, the Twilight books are teenage vampire romances by Stephenie Meyer. They are a phenomenon in the US & here in Australia. I've been buying more & more copies for my library, can't keep up with the reservations, & as the last in the series, Breaking Dawn, has just been published, the phenomenon may be coming to an end.

  8. Oh, I loved reading what you wrote, especially the last part. My guess is that a lot of your older readers see ourselves in you when we were younger. Your book lists thrill me.


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