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).
It’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.
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?