Today's Musing Monday prompt is:
How do you feel about wide-spread reading phenomenons - Harry Potter, for instance, or the more current Twilight Saga? Are these books so widely read for a reason, or merely fads or crazes? Do you feel compelled to read - or NOT to read - these books because everyone else is?
I think reading phenomenons like Harry Potter and Twilight are great to get kids reading again, but I don't think the public should limit themselves to popular books. If you limit yourself to only bestsellers, then you will miss hundreds of really great books.
With the Harry Potter books, I was reading them a full two years before they became popular in the USA. I own a first edition British copy of The Philosopher's Stone (the British title) and this is the book that started the craze for me. I had finished the first three books in the series before the first one became a sensation. And of course, I was one of the thousands of people waiting in line at midnight on release days.
With the Twilight books, I wasn't going to read them because everyone said they were the new Harry Potter. But after I found out the books were about vampires, then I knew I had to read them. Vampires are my favorite genre and believe me, I read great vampires and I've read horrid vampires.
I started my book review blog to keep myself updated on the books I've read. I have a tendency to gravitate toward unknown authors, although I do have my favorite popular authors. My goal in doing book reviews is to turn people on to books they may not have given notice to.
Good or bad, bestselling books do start a buzz for children - and adults - and if this keeps them reading, then I say "Go forth and read!"