I hate being coerced into doing things I don’t want to do. Well, who does? So, why would I read a book I don’t want to read?
Because of the generation I was born in (elder Millennial here) I remember a time before social media very clearly. I also remember the first days of social media. And I remember, relevant to this topic, what my reading experience was like before social media.
I am not about to denigrate social media. Or even tell you to be on it less (although, I do think it’s important to be self-aware about it). I’m not going to go on about how kids used to play outside because a) I don’t have kids and so don’t care that much about that particular topic, and b) I didn’t want to play outside all the time as a kid, anyway.
Because of my perspective, I became aware of the impact of social media on my reading choices and how that’s effected my reading experience as a whole. 99% is positive. The 1% is negative enough for me to want to change it.
I didn’t like what i saw
Part of what’s changed about my reading experience is that I tend to post a book review online for most of the books I read. I don’t feel forced to do this; I genuinely enjoy it. But out of that comes the pressure to read books that are “popular”, “hyped”, in the “public’s eye”, because if my reviews of popular books might get views, then my webpage, and my Insta, and my Tik Tok will get views.
But, a lot of times I simply don’t want to read the popular books. Sometimes, ‘the stars are not in alignment’ and I don’t want to read the popular books right now.
I still haven’t read Harry Potter. And I refuse to be sorry or shamed about it. I just haven’t WANTED TO READ IT and that’s the reading vibe I will be going with this year.
If I WANT TO READ IT, I will read it.
If I DON’T WANT TO READ IT, I won’t.
And I think if more readers thought this way, not only will we see more happy book bloggers or #bookstagram aficionados, but we’ll also see more variety and more passion about the stories we’re reading because – crazy concept – we actually liked them.
And, yes, I am patting myself on the back and calling myself a genius.
It’s a simple concept, I know, but I think we get caught up in the book hashtags and the #bookstagram influencers and the ‘most popular’ lists on Goodreads, and some of us have stopped following our hearts in what we read and it’s brought just a little bit of sadness and negativity and reading just isn’t the same anymore.
Be the reader you are, not the reader other people want you to be.
Wow, that is just a smidge too close to a motivational quote.
In all seriousness, READ WHAT YOU WANT TO READ! Happy Reading!