SHOULD WE READ BOOKS THAT EVERYBODY ELSE IS READING?
If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking. – Haruki Murakami
A while ago, I’ve seen this interesting quote on the Internet and it had this even more interesting comment underneath it. The person who wrote it said something along the line that it’s true because nowadays, a lot of people are reading the same books and it can be seen on the Instagram and Goodreads, and that people should explore different books and not just read the mainstream ones because then we are fed with the same thoughts and opinions.
Now, this made me think about what the quote and what the person is trying to say. It’s true that there are many popular books out there, and that many people read them or want to read them, either because they are really interesting or because they have good advertising. But I don’t want to get into the topic of what we should read but whether it’s bad that a lot of people are reading the same thing.
I personally think it’s important and amazing to be able to explore different genres and different books, even those who are underrated and nobody is talking about them. One thing I love about reading books that no one else knows about is that I can recommend it to a lot of people who otherwise wouldn’t know about it. On the other hand, if I’m the only one reading that book, I can’t really talk to anybody about it. That’s the advantage of reading books that others are reading. You can talk to anybody about it, you can read it with your friends and share your ideas but I don’t think it makes your thoughts about the book any less original or authentic.
I think it’s daring to say that when you read a book everyone else is reading, you think the same thing everyone else is thinking because people are unique and they look at books in a different light and from different angles. One person can understand the theme of the book differently than the other, and that’s the beauty of reading with someone else. We don’t have the same opinions on the characters, on the plot, on the writing, so how can we have the same thoughts about the same book?
One thing being a major in English literature taught me is that when a class of fifteen students is reading one compulsory book, there are at least six different opinions on it. I love our classes because we discuss our thoughts and I can assure you that they are not the same. They differ because of what we like, what we don’t like, how we see things, how we can relate to the story line and the list goes on and on.
As long as I like to explore, I don’t think there’s something wrong with reading what everyone else is reading. Another thing is, shouldn’t we focus on the act of reading and the fact that so many people choose to read books? In this era, books are generally underrated and the fact that someone chooses to pick it up, read the whole thing and does something for his or her soul and mind should be more important than what the person is reading. I personally think we should focus on spreading the love for books rather than contemplating what mass reading does to our thoughts. Every single book we read is important no matter how many people choose to read it. Every single book leaves an imprint on our souls and every single book can enrich us with a different opinion. And speaking of opinions, is it really that bad to think what others are thinking? As long as it’s our genuine opinion and we don’t copy anybody and we don’t just nod to everything, I think it’s okay. Still, each and every one of us is unique and so are our thoughts.
Talk to me:
Do you think the quote is true? Do you think people should read less mainstream books and explore more? Do you think that mass reading of a book is bad or not?
Simone is a book lover from Slovakia, a little country in the middle of Europe. She started an English blog because she fell in love with the language. She loves learning foreign languages, talking about books, photography and is addicted to tea.