The Pitfalls of Popularity


Lauren Arenas

Harry Potter, The Fault In Our Stars, and The Hunger Games are all examples of best-selling books of the generation. While these books all have qualities that make them good reads, sometimes looking at the less-known books will provide for a better reading experience.

Lauren Arenas, Student Opinion Editor

This article is not going to be about people who peak in high school or snobby cheerleaders; instead, it will be about books, because books can be popular too. Not to sound pretentious, but the unfortunate truth for me is that the books I read lose value when I find out that a large number of other people have read them. The same can be said for books that become popular before I get the chance to read them. I just can’t find myself enjoying them as much as a book that I discovered myself.

Recently, I read the bestseller The Fault in our Stars by John Green. I’ll admit, the book was good, and it was definitely very emotional. As much as I enjoyed it, for some reason, I kept telling myself not to. The thought always came back to me that there were so many other people out there who enjoyed the very same book so much. Instead of praising the book, I found myself comparing it to another Green book, Looking for Alaska. This novel was less well-known, and in my opinion, the better book of the two. Whether or not this is true, I do know that their differing popularities helped shape my opinion.

I don’t want to be misunderstood, I don’t think that good books gaining recognition is a bad thing. Books become popular for a reason. A lot of people enjoy them, recommended them to their friends, and helped spread the word. I’m glad that deserving books are getting attention. The only problem for me is that I need to feel a special connection with a book to speak highly of it, and that is hard to attain when I know that so many other people feel the same way.

People need to remember to formulate their own opinions. There’s nothing wrong with getting a recommendation from a friend, but if those are the only books you’re reading, then there may be a problem. I want to remind people to look past all the popularity. Instead of walking straight to the best-sellers section, wander through the bookshelves until you find something that catches your eye. Having your own unique love of books is one of the most important things that readers can have.

I may be alone in my opinion, but I like having things that I can call my own. I like being able to have a special connection with books that other people don’t understand. Every person is an individual, and everyone likes different things. If everyone loves one certain book, chances are that the book doesn’t have individual qualities that make it truly unique.

Reading of any sort is good for people. It is an opportunity to learn and engage in something new. Book series such as Harry Potter and The Hunger Games offer stories that all sorts of different people feel attached to. Having books like these is great, especially if you’re into talking about books with friends, but it’s also important to find books that speak to you as an individual. Liking something different shows that you can formulate your own opinions, along with respecting the acclaimed qualities of the popular books on your shelves.