Should We Read Books That Everybody Else is Reading? // Guest Post by Simone

» 3 July, 2016 » Guest Post, Vent central » 18 comments

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?


SimoneSimone 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.

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tonyalee

Tonyalee is an avid reader, coffee junkie, junk food addicted workaholic and blogger. Be sure to follow on Twitter for random shenanigans.
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18 responses to “Should We Read Books That Everybody Else is Reading? // Guest Post by Simone

  1. Laura

    Awesome topic!
    I think a lot of the books that are popular these days are popular for a reason, and that’s because they appeal to a lot of people, so I don’t think that there’s a problem with a lot of people reading the same things. I know there are some pretty bad books that become really popular too, but what’s good and bad is subjective anyway, I guess!
    I always like when I stumble across a relatively unknown gem (I also like being able to recommend people books they probably won’t have heard of and spread the word!), but I just look out for stuff I’d like to read, and it doesn’t matter to me whether it’s mainstream or not. I did English Literature at university too, and I found the same thing – no one ever has the exact same opinion of the same book, so I don’t think that reading the same books makes us all think the same things. I just think it gets us all thinking and formulating our own opinions on the same topics, which is why I think it’s so important for popular fiction to cover a range of issues.
    Anyway, I’ll stop rambling! Great post 🙂
    Laura recently posted…Do you reread books?My Profile

    • Simone

      Firstly, thank you, I’m glad you liked that topic. 🙂
      I totally get why you like unknown books because that feeling when you can recommend it to everybody and your friends read it and they actually like it is incredible.
      I agree with you. Popular fiction should definitely cover a range of issues. But the fact that these books are read by a huge amount of people is in my opinion only for the good because then we can discuss and share our opinion and actually adress those problems and ideas. That makes the whole reading experience even better. 🙂
      Simone recently posted…Bookish things that annoy meMy Profile

  2. Courtney Fitzmaurice

    Hi Simone,
    I really agree with you! On one hand, I love reading popular books because I can talk about them with my friends and watch videos about them on Booktube, but on the other hand I like reading books that no one really knows about so that I can have the story to myself, in a way. I just think that it’s great that people are reading, no matter what it is.

  3. Wendy @ Book Scents

    I can see how lots of people reading the same thing may sway opinions one way or another but like you said I do love being able to talk to other people about the book I just read! I tend to be able to hold true to what I think and hype also doesn’t affect me most of the time.
    Wendy @ Book Scents recently posted…TTT: Top Ten 2016 Releases So FarMy Profile

    • Simone

      Yes, that may be a problem with reading the same thing. But I think most of us have their own opinion and, as you said, we are able to hold true to what we think. Hype doesn’t affect me either, but sometimes it can discourage me a little becase I feel a little pressure to like the book. 🙂
      Simone recently posted…Bookish things that annoy meMy Profile

  4. Rachana

    I don’t see anything wrong with mass reading of a book. That just means the book gets more exposure! But I definitely agree that people should try to explore more as well. There’s nothing wrong with only reading mainstream books – read what you want right? – but there are also a ton of other great books out there and if no one takes a chance, they remain on the fringes. I suppose in the end, I’m just saying ‘each to their own!’ Do whatever works for you! 🙂
    Rachana recently posted…the night circus // slow-paced with gorgeous proseMy Profile

    • Simone

      Exactly, we are all different after all and we should pick book according to what we like and whether they interest us not by the amount of people reading it. And though I like mainstream book, there are many secret gems out there waiting to be discovered. 🙂
      Simone recently posted…Where do I find inspiration?My Profile

  5. Liselle @ lunch-Time Librarian

    I definitely don’t agree with the quote which seems to suggest that by reading the same thing everyone else is reading you’re subscribing to a hive-mind mentality. But lots of people can read the exact same popular book and get a different interpretation or feeling from it. It’s also great to celebrate and read less popular books, but I don’t agree with the assertion that reading something popular somehow makes you sheep-like or a follower.
    Liselle @ lunch-Time Librarian recently posted…June Round Up + Leah Stewart QuoteMy Profile

    • Simone

      Yes, that’s the weird thing about because the quote suggests that we aren’t capable of having our own opinions on a book which is ridiculous. Again, we are all different people, there we have different opinions on the same things. We either agree with a statement or not, but I don’t think someone would agree with something just because it’s a mainstream book and because someone else is thinking the same thing.
      Simone recently posted…Where do I find inspiration?My Profile

  6. Got My Book

    I will be the guest poster here tomorrow, and am doing a TTT list on underappreciated books. That said, I don’t think people “should” read any specific types of books. People ought to read whatever they enjoy, whether that is the latest bestseller or something with O ratings.

  7. S. J. Pajonas

    I can agree with a lot of what you’re saying here. When I read a book, I generally have a different opinion than a lot of people. Books I love, other people hate. There’s nothing wrong with reading mainstream books, as long as they appeal to you! I just tried to listen to a very popular scifi thriller that everyone loves right now and I turned it off at about the 20% mark. Couldn’t do it. My opinion about it will be quite different than other people!
    S. J. Pajonas recently posted…Teaser Tuesday – Complicated RelationshipsMy Profile

    • Simone

      Oh, I have the same problem. Most of the time I pick up book everyone is talking about and I don’t like it. But it would be boring if we all had the same opinions and we all liked the same books. 🙂
      Simone recently posted…Where do I find inspiration?My Profile

    • Simone

      Thank you Eva! I’m glad you liked it. 🙂
      It’s true that too many reviews can influence people’s opinion on a certain book but I think it’s more of a “Well, I’ve read too many negative reviews, I won’t be reading this.” influence. At least I’m familiar with this. I don’t think I was influenced by reviews while writing my own one. But thank you, this was another interesting and valid point. 🙂
      Simone recently posted…Where do I find inspiration?My Profile

  8. Jenna- JK I'm Exploring

    I really want to shove this in some of my teacher’s faces who think everyone reads the same book and should see it in the same way. Some of them would mark you down or embarrass you if you contradicted them. Still, I earned my English degree 🙂 My friends and I would discuss the books outside of class and voice our own opinions.
    I agree with the quote in a way- I think people should read what interests them instead of the mass population because then they’ll understand themselves better. If you only read what everyone else reads you’re gonna miss out on a lot of good books.
    On the other hand, like you said reading books everyone does leads to some excellent discussions and can make you think a lot harder.
    Jenna- JK I’m Exploring recently posted…Challenges update: The midway pointMy Profile

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