Okay, so the sad face might be a little bit of an overstatement. I'm not saying that peer pressure reading is a bad thing, persay! I'll explain below. I actually got the idea from this post from one of my Instagram friends, and it got me to thinking about my experience with this topic. So lend me your ears for a bit, and lets chat.
When I first stumbled my way into the world of blogging, I was completely lost. There was so much to talk about, so much to write about, so many new books to read, and oh my goodness ARCs existed! I used other blogs as a hand to hold, a way to navigate the waters if you will, so that I wouldn't feel that I was drowning under all the new information coming my way. It was helpful to see what others were saying and doing, so that I could get ideas of what I should be saying and doing as well!
After a while though, I began to feel uncomfortable with how hard I was trying to "fit in". I wanted to be like the blogs I loved. Wanted to constantly review ARCs, and read the newest YA, and my backlog pile languished and grew. My blog started becoming something that wasn't mine anymore, and I went through a huge slump. I felt like I couldn't hack it, and I didn't want to try anymore.
Then, I picked up an old friend. You know, those reads that you've been meaning to re-read but have sat because you're trying so hard to keep up with all the shiny reads out there? It made me realized that I missed reading to read. I missed reading what I wanted. It didn't matter to me if YA was popular, but I like to read MG. It didn't matter if Contemporary was all the rage, but I wanted to devour endless Fantasy books. I should be reading/doing/blogging about whatever I wanted. This was my space and if people chose to follow, awesome! If not, it was still something I loved doing.
So here's my take on peer pressure reading. Obviously as bloggers, it's kind of our jobs to do a little bit of peer pressure in a way, because we want to promote the books that we love! However I think it's important to remember that you don't always have to be up with the newest releases. You don't have to love all the hyped books that people are throwing around. You can absolutely go back and read an old favorite, or dust off that book that's been sitting on your shelf since 2014. Reading is about enjoyment and, as fun as it is to talk about that newest release with your fellow readers, sometimes that's just not what you feel like doing at the moment.
In the same respect my dear readers, I implore you not to feel bad when you don't love the books that are hyped by your fellow bloggers and reader friends. Don't worry, there's nothing wrong with you. It's perfectly okay. I all but despised Caraval (*gasp* I know!) and I'm not ashamed of that. It just wasn't my kind of read, I know that, and I would never discourage you from telling me how much you loved it because I respect your opinions too :).
So read what you love. Love what you read. Don't let peer pressure get you down! If that new shiny release is what you're craving, huzzah! If not, you're still golden. Just read.
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.