Thursday, 4 September 2008

Booking Through Thursday: Pressure

I was looking through books yesterday at the shops and saw all the Twilight books, which I know basically nothing about. What I do know is that I’m beginning to feel like I’m the *only* person who knows nothing about them.
Despite being almost broke and trying to save money, I almost bought the expensive book (Australian book prices are often completely nutty) just because I felt the need to be ‘up’ on what everyone else was reading.
Have you ever felt pressured to read something because ‘everyone else’ was reading it? Have you ever given in and read the book(s) in question or do you resist? If you are a reviewer, etc, do you feel it’s your duty to keep up on current trends?

I get a lot of recommendations from blogs and forums, and often end up reading the books everyone is raving about, but just to see what the fuss is about, unless it looks like chick-lit.

I started my English degree feeling pressured to try and catch-up with everyone elses reading. I was never going to take an English degree, and had applied and was accepted to take Sociology and law. I changed my mind a week before uni started, and got on an English Lit degree at the same university. Everyone else on the course had been given a recommended reading list in their interview, a list of books we wouldn't study, but would help us to know and be able to refer to. There were 100 books on the list, I had read one. I was also disadvantaged as my school had taught a syllabus of fairly modern literarure, with just one Shakespeare play and 2 classic novels, this was a fairly new course and the majority of schools stuck to the more traditional syllabus which was crammed with classics. After the first day I went home struck with horror at how little I had read (this wasn't helped when a really posh lad stood up and quoted a Shakespearean sonnet!). My mum brought a stack of Penguin classics which I read through over the first year, and boy I felt pressured to do so.


Smilingsal said...

Yes, reading for class is different though than reading for pleasure.

Book Zombie said...

I never really felt pressured when the reading was to do with schooling. In my opinion recommended reading lists can only help to improve my education, so I would be reading them for a good reason.