• Current Reads

      Life after Life Jill McCorkle
      This Is Your Captain Speaking Jon Methven
      The Starboard Sea Amber Dermont
      Snark David Denby
      Bring Up the Bodies Hilary Mantel
  • Popular Tags

  • Recent Reflections

  • Categories

  • Moleskine’s All-Time Favorites

  • Echoes

    Matthew on [825] Paradise Lost -John…
    Anokatony on [825] Paradise Lost -John…
    Matthew on The King’s English Books…
    Katie Marie on The King’s English Books…
    lazyhaze on Reading Kafka’s “T…
    Buried In Print on Reading Kafka’s “T…
  • Reminiscences

  • Blog Stats

    • 991,582 hits
  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,668 other followers

“Popular Fiction”

Here’s an about the myths of popularity in fiction. It’s long but worth a read. That question popular fiction vs. literary fiction comes up again. I know publishers want to make the most profits out of the books, but the whole talk of what is popular and what makes a book popular is rather irrelevant. I don’t think there’s a formula to commercial success, but books that are short on literary elements, like mysteries and thrillers, tend to be more popular in the sense that they are more likely to be picked up and finished promptly. That said, to compare “popular fiction” with literary fiction is unfair and irrelevant, because the non-literary genre pretty much encompasses everything that literary fiction is not. There’s no competition.

Popularity is a myth when it comes to books. To speak of a specific genre is not practical. I can’t say for other readers, but I didn’t buy into any of the Gone Girl doubles after I finished Gone Girl. This speaks the fact that despite the regular conflation of genre fiction witch popular fiction, most genre fiction is not popular at all. What’s popular is whatever you want it to be. Also too often it seems readers’ interest in “popular books” is actually only an interest in books that are popular in the styles they like. So if the focus in the industry is to boost sales and encourage commercial success, it would hurt literature. Why? Because sales have essentially no relation to quality. One way to crack the homogeneity of “popular books” is to read out of our comfort zone and peruse literature on a niche, exploring books from all genres from the world.

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: