by: Joelle Charbonneau
I’m not a reader who loves jumping on the bandwagon of whatever hot new book is on the list. It took me until book four to break down and start reading Harry Potter. I admit I was glad I did, but most of the time I don’t feel that same happiness at devoting my time to what everyone else is reading.
Case in point: I picked up a book a few months ago that has racked up lots of award nominations. Everyone was talking about how fabulous it was so when I saw it on the discount shelf I decided to add it to my TBR pile. You have to remember that my TBR pile is enormous and keeps growing, so it took me a while to finally get around to reading the book. I cracked it open and after ten pages wanted to put it down.
But I didn’t.
People had nominated it for awards – lots of awards. I kept reading waiting to discover the reason(s) why. The point of view shifted almost every other paragraph which made it hard to follow whose thoughts I was reading. The killer seemed obvious. The descriptions were lovely, but no more so than other books I’d read. I assumed that the payoff at the end – the solution to the mystery – was going to be sensational. That I was going to be amazed at how the pieces fit together to form a picture I never saw coming. I flipped the pages waiting for a huge payoff.
It never came.
I was disappointed. In fact, I felt cheated. I shouldn’t have. There’s a reason I don’t normally read the ‘flavor of the month’. This would be it.
As a soon-to-be-published author, I seem to find myself paying attention to award nominations in ways I'd never done in the past. The question is, does anyone else really care about these awards? Do you find yourself reading a book because everyone else is doing it? Or do you like to be the one setting the trends? And if you don’t like to follow the crowd, at what point do you break down and decide to see what all the fuss is about?