As much as Galinda might disagree, popularity isn’t something gained by a new gown and hair style, especially when it comes to books. The trends of popularity aren’t easy to pick out.
The above are the covers of the most popular books, according to Goodreads, for the past ten years. Most of them have been turned into movies, or are on their way to becoming them. Many of them are part of series, but there are also stand-alones. There is an overwhelming amount of YA fiction, but that’s not the only genre represented. So what is it about these ten books that made them stand out above all other books published in their year? And what does it say about our society that these are the books the most people choose to read? From the story of a murder victim to the story of a cancer victim, has our society changed that much in the past ten years?
I wasn’t particularly surprised by any of the list, except maybe Bossypants which I hadn’t really heard of. I was maybe a little startled to see that only one Harry Potter book made the list.
For me, it seems a lot of the popularity of a book comes from luck. The right thing happening at the right time. There are books up on the list that I don’t necessarily believe deserve to be there because they aren’t well written, but they are up there because the best books aren’t always the ones that get read the most. In the end, a lot of times people will read what they’re told to read. I almost always only read books that have been recommended to me. I rarely pick a book of a shelf because it looks interesting, and this makes me a little sad.
I think that a lot of times readers get so stuck on what’s popular to read that some of that enjoyment of reading a book that you know absolutely nothing about is gone. In a way, book culture is becoming very standardized. Everyone’s read Harry Potter. Everyone’s read Twilight. And if you haven’t, as a reader, then there must be something wrong with you.
That’s not the kind of reader I want to be and that’s not the kind of person I want to be.