Mainstream in Books

let's talk aboutHere’s the thing. I’ve noticed lately that a lot of people are arguing that The Fault in Our Stars is becoming mainstream or Oh my gosh, why are people reading my favourite book ever? And a lot of other statements along those lines. I’m not even talking about The Fault in Our Stars only. In fact, there are a lot of books out there that people are deeming as too mainstream. My question is this: why are people hating on other people who reads a popular book? 

Let me first define what mainstream is.

mainstream, n. – the ideas, attitudes, or activities that are shared by most people and regarded as normal or conventional.

The definition states that mainstream is “the ideas, attitudes, or activities that are shared by most people and regarded as normal or conventional”. I want to emphasise the line shared by most people and regarded as normal or conventional. If mainstream is regarded as normal or conventional, then why the heck do people make it sound as if it’s wrong or revolting?

I think there’s nothing wrong with reading a popular novel. I don’t get why some readers are becoming possessive of their favourite stories. Sure, maybe it holds a special place in your heart and you don’t want other people criticising it. But doesn’t that sound a bit unfair for everyone? Books are for everyone. 

I think mainstream is good because it means that the book is a success. The author has written something that has touched people’s hearts. And it’s because of their books becoming mainstream that they are able to write more stories for us readers.

Also, I admit that I’ve had this mindset too. Back then, I wouldn’t share my favourite books to my classmates because I don’t want them ruining my feels or my favourite characters. But now, I can honestly say that I’m gradually being more open-minded.

I asked people on Twitter to share their thoughts and I got very warm responses. Here are just some of them:

I am happy to see my fave books become great mainstream ones. I am not bothered to see a lot of people read my once non-famous fave book. I’m happy that the author is receiving love from a book that he/she made. Plus, the more the merrier, right? – Jules @ Jules Bookshelf

The sad truth is that some people only tend to like stuff when they’re mainstream because in that way they think that they’ll be accepted by their peers which is a very terrible mindset. – Kyla |@kylerfish|

It’s really weird but this is very true. I’ve seen this kind of elitism everywhere – with books, movies, and then even music. I’m really not sure why but I have some theories. I think some of them are protesting against a book going mainstream is because they feel it will cheapen it, because they probably think anything that works for the masses are “dumbed down”. – Faye @ The Social Potato

I would really love to hear YOUR thoughts about this certain topic. What do you think about books becoming “mainstream”? Do you think it’s a good thing that books are getting a lot of hype?

A huge thank you to these awesome people who shared their thoughts with me (sorry I couldn’t squeeze in everyone’s opinions here!): Ella, AimeeJules, Faye, Dre and Kyla. Really appreciate reading what you have to say, guys!

13 thoughts on “Mainstream in Books

  1. I’m possessive too when we’re talking a about my favorite books but not to the point that I will hate anyone who likes it. In fact, it is better if more readers read my favorite books because that means I can chat with them about it. However, I have different opinion for people liking the story when they’ve only seen the movies. I’m not saying I hate them but they’re missing a lot if they have only seen the movie and not read the series.

      1. I like your gravatar! Who’s that? Is that a character from an anime?

        PS: you should install a comment notifier for your non-wordpress reader so they will know that you have replied to their comment 🙂

  2. I think that it’s fantastic that books are getting so much hype! It means many people enjoyed the read. I’m pretty slow to read a lot of hyped series, and I think it might be because I’m afraid that I won’t love it as much as others do. I suppose not every book is for everyone, but still.

    I’ve never really been possessive over a series when others showed an interest in it, though. In fact, I wish more people I know are interested in the books I love.

    This is such an interesting topic. Great post. 🙂

  3. Truth be told I once had this mindset (especially towards my favorite TV show) because I felt like it was something that I have a upper-hand knowledge of it over other people and that somewhat made it really special to me. I was afraid of people ruining that special feeling for me.

    Thankfully I finally moved passed that mentality and you know what I am immensely happy!

    Great post and thoughts! 😀

  4. Personally, I would love it if more people read my favorite books. It would mean I have more people to talk about them with! It would mean more success for the author (and potentially higher chance of getting more books from them)! I think people just get worried that it “won’t be the same” if everyone loves this thing that they love… but unless you’re being pretentious just for the sake of being pretentious, I think the good way outweighs the bad.

  5. It’s ok Miguel! 🙂
    Yes it’s good that books are getting a lot of hype because it gets non bookish people curious and eventually gets them into reading too. I always tell my friends to read a book that has a movie adaptation because sometimes they tend to judge a story based on just the crappy movie. Hyped books encourage a lot of people to read and explore more books, especially if they liked the book too. 🙂

  6. When I read a really good book, I tend to tell my bookish friends, “READ THIS ONE. READ THIS ONE!” – because I am excited to know if they liked it as much as I did. However, if they didn’t like it, I still feel happy that they read the book. Not everyone will like the same books as you. We shouldn’t look down on people who read hyped books, instead, we should encourage them to read more 🙂

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