Lets talk! Bookish and beyond @ Cinderzenblogs! #1 Does media and hype shape the way we read?


Hello everyone!

I have news! I was just having a routine check on my notifications, when I find that Wordpress says I’ve been registered to this blog for a year now! A year! What!? How time flies when one is busy reading blogs and fangirling with fellow bookworms! XD I have to confess that I have not been seriously blogging for the whole of these past 12 months except for the past 7. I wish I had gotten the taste / excitement of it right at the beginning, a few months definitely gone to waste XD

First things, first! I cannot thank all those who I’ve met along the way, those who followed me out of the blue (lol), for those treasured moments where we’ve created connections and shared stories. Thank you for inspiring and motivating me to keep going on, and giving me the courage to keep at this task we all love and sometimes call a pain XD Its all voluntary after all, yet I  love blogging and the community here!

So, not to mark today or anything, I’ve had this idea for sometime and its long over due, I’ve decided to start on a discussion series touching on all things book related. This will include topics relating to life, interests and all things general. Or in other words, things I come across in my journey that amuse/ inspire/ and get me thinking. Maybe sometimes good, sometimes ecstatic, sometimes bad and very ugly. I’ll post up a topic every week, and with your help, we can get to see a diverse range of opinions under the topic, get excited, informed, inspired and motivated for the better ^_^ Pls do understand my possibly rocky first few discussions till I get the hang of this new venture >_<! Book-bottoms up everyone!

Enough chit chat, I’ve got questions brewing!



bookish and beyond end picture


What’s up this week @ the Cinderblog??

Today’s topic: Does media and hype shape the way we read?


We are all aware of the recent release of the eight installation of a Harry Potter story. If you do not, get your butt out from under that rock! Things have been heating up.

I haven’t read the book yet, but I have read a lot of reviews and thoughts on it. Unfortunately though, they were predominantly negative, and the Potter fangirl in me dies a bit every time I do. How can a story which our beloved JK touched on, be so lowly received? What happened? Were we too eager? Are we judging too minutely? Clearly anything HP does give everything a whole new meaning and dimension, given the love we have for it. Were we expecting a similar fully loaded book as the original seven? Was it too much expectation? Was it too much hype? 

I do understand the need for hype and publicity, and a return of a much loved author with another of her works is great news, yes! but should we perhaps take into consideration what the book had to go through to come to completion. The book is itself not meant to be a novel but a play based on the original story, so one must understand the consequences of this. I say consequence because in true Potter fanaticism we will want a fully satisfying book to digest. Details will be omitted, characters will only be inspired by the original, and the plot will probably not read as a work of JK’s alone might.

Here’s the big question.

I haven’t read the book yet, and when I do, will what I’ve read so far change my true opinion of it? Will my reading of everything prior to the book skew my thoughts of the story?

Will I be looking out for things that I probably wouldn’t have if I hadn’t read anything?

What happens if hype leads to a disappointing book. I say disappointing possibly due to high expectation or a widely-agreed-upon badly written book.

I know this is can also be a question of one willingly reading the reviews or not, but trust me its hard to not read them. The struggle is real and I’m too curious.


Here’s another question.

What happens when a well known person, politician or celebrity endorses a book? If they are well known and accepted by many, the book rockets to fame. I understand the dynamics of that for all parties. What happens if its reviewed negatively by them? Does this make the book a bad one.

I firmly believe that no book can be considered bad by all (perhaps a very few). This is an entirely different discussion with the factors of age, experience and maturity all differing so I believe its not ours to judge. Perhaps we should only give our opinion about, but not to shame them entirely.

This thought sprouted off a book I read back in February. I wanted so much to review the book because I felt it was a compelling story. Then I felt, will the publicity it got, be a problem for me? Would it be considered a bad read just because of all we have read about it? Was I worried about being viewed in a way due to my choice of books? There I was wondering if it was a good book enough to review when I shouldn’t have been doing so. I believe that a book should be judged on how its written, how it reads and what I can take from it. If it conveys a message that’s deep seating and something you relate to, even better. If it entertains you, wonderful.

A Million Little Pieces by James Frey was chosen by Oprah for her Book Club in September 2005. The book was released as a memoir, and Oprah was all praises about it.  It turned out that the author had exaggerated some aspects of the story  and understandably the winds turned on him, from positive reviews to negative ones. Personally I loved the writing and the contents for what it was. I wouldn’t consider myself ‘duped’ as she said she had been. Perhaps it was a badly categorized book, a book ‘inspired’ by an original story perhaps should have been the key phrase. So are we too quick to judge?

Another back story regarding the incident is that it was all publicity for the book. See what media can do? Does this seem right in view of authors from a minority background? Do they get similar shout outs?


These are just my thoughts! I’d love to know what you think! 

Where do we need to put the barrier on how much exposure about a book we need before we read it? Is media skewing the way we read? Or what we read?




14 thoughts on “Lets talk! Bookish and beyond @ Cinderzenblogs! #1 Does media and hype shape the way we read?

Add yours

  1. Congratulations on completing one year!
    It is pretty hard to disengage yourself from the hype when you sit down with the intention of reading and reviewing the book later on.. Your expectations increase, so if the book doesn’t meet those sky-high requirements (but it is a good book nevertheless) it is kind of hard not to feel disappointed or let it seep into how you rate or review the book..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m introduced to a lot of the books I read through social media, and I actually really like that. I never run out of recommendations and usually love what I read. But like you said with Cursed Child, it can backfire sometimes. Or there’s cases where (like The Fault In Our Stars) social media makes a book hugely hyped, it turns into a movie, and then it becomes TOO hyped and people start disliking it. It’s definitely a hit-or-miss thing, really.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congrats on one year and this is a fantastic topic. I agree, hype definitely shapes one way or another my opinion of a book going into it and it can result in a bad reading experience. First, an overhyped book (Harry Potter) might skyrocket my expectations and when I read it, it can’t possibly meet that expectation. On the other side, consistent bad reviews might make me never pick the book up in the first place even though for me, I could find this book amazing. I think we can never get away from hype and socialization because we don’t live in a vacuum. I think for me, I try to keep my expectations realistic like you were saying… it’s a play, things will be sacrificed, it’s really meant to be seen on stage.

    You brought up celebrity endorsements. For me, I think I am swayed more by people I have relationships with and who I respect their opinions. Celebrities have name recognition but… meh. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for stopping by! ^_^ I read that people who’ve just read HP are hesitant to review the book due to the predictable reviews floating around. For myself I never follow a hype. If anything it puts me off it, and when it simmers down I might pick it up. Its really important to keep your expectations in check, in case we undervalue a book if we read it in a negative / skewed mindset. When it comes to publicity/ endorsements, I do wish media were balanced in publicizing literature by POC as well.


  4. I do think hype can play a role in a reader’s reaction to a book. If you’ve been hearing non-stop (or even just from one person) that a book is THE GREATEST THING EVER, it becomes fairly easy to read it and think “Well, it’s good, but it’s not THAT good.”

    I don’t think The Cursed Child’s problem was necessarily hype, though. (Disclaimer: I haven’t read it, but my co-blogger has and has written a lot of thoughtful posts about it, if you’re into that.) I think the problem is more that HP defined people’s childhoods. They were obsessed with it for ten years. They did everything HP-related they could. It might have been the book that inspired them to read or got them into fantasy or whatever. So I think it’s just that a book you read as an adult can never been quite as influential as the book that defined your entire childhood. It doesn’t matter what Rowling writes. People will forever be grumping that “It’s not Harry Potter” simply because they aren’t seeing the magic that reading a book as a child can bring.

    As for celebrity endorsements, I don’t care for them at all. Even the blurbs on the back of books are uninteresting to me. I don’t care that famous author X likes the book. (Also, some of the blurbs are so vague and generic I wonder if they really read the book or just wrote off two sentences like, “This book is magic. It will keep you on the edge of your seat” and considered their duties done.)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve been hearing so many negative vibes I’m surely heading towards Cursed Child with my guard up intending to pick up on the drawbacks. On the other hand I understand why these things happen, its going to feel so confusing. Meh. You are right about the HP childhood takeover! Reading a book that changed your childhood, might not have the same affect as when you read when an adult. Loved hearing your thoughts!


  6. I (TJ) agree with hype getting our hopes up so usually I’ll read a book on recommendation from a friend and try to avoid reviews. I myself tend to look at the reviews after I’ve read the book to see if I agree with the reviewers opinions. I think hype can also be good though as it bands together fandoms in their excitement, theories, fanfiction etc. I mean just think of all the hype about the hunger games movie. I think hype itself isn’t such a bad thing it’s the unrealistic views it can give the audience.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Interesting questions! I hadn’t really thought about social media changing my reading habits, but it has. I became active on Library Thing several years ago, and my mount TBR has grown exponentially since then. Because I work in a library, I am constantly browsing books, but I think I get as many (or more) through blogs and people I’ve met online as from browsing. I like to think this has broadened my reading tastes. I know writing up a paragraph (or two or three) about a book has made me think about my reading more.

    And hype does shape my perceptions of a book. I will probably read the Harry Potter play after the hype (and the hold list at the library) dies down, but I don’t expect it to be a book by Rowling – it’s written by someone else and it’s a play, which is a different thing altogether.

    I do read people’s comments on books to get recommendations (and rely on them not to spoil). Bad reviews may affect my decision to read, but not always. It depends on what I know about the author and the book. For example, I will probably buy Tahmima Anam’s The Bones of Grace, because though many reviews don’t think it stands up to A Golden Age, or even the Good Muslim, I like her writing, and I want to read about the shipbreaking industry in the latter half of the novel.

    Congratulations on a year of blogging!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Congrats on your first year blogoversary! It’s an achievement that deserves to be commended no matter how frequently one posts. I’m glad you’re sticking around. :]

    I have not read The Cursed Child either, but having seen so many reviews claiming disappointment I will also be sure to lower my expectations. I think people expected the same reading experience as the original series, but this doesn’t seem to be that at all. It’s an entirely different format first of all, and I also think it was a bad idea to return to this particular story in the first place. The next story in the Harry Potter world should have been an entirely new series but with equally compelling characters and a story that would stand on its own, entirely separate from the original series. Even then people would have been disappointed but probably less so because it their beloved characters were ruined. :p
    Anyway, I will have more thoughts after I read the book. In the meantime I will look forward to your new discussions!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Naz!! Means a lot!
      You are right, instead of being a spin off the plot should have been a separate stroyline instead of picking off where they left off. Kinda like the TMI series, which was followed by the Infernal Devices. its always a tricky business dabbing with much loved characters. I do hope it isnt as bad a work as people claim it to be, my instincts tell me it might not be.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: