Today's Question from Marie at The Boston Bibliophile:
What's the most popular book in your library? Have you read it? What did you
think? How many users have it? What's the most popular book you don't have? How does a book's popularity figure into your decisions about what to read?
According to the LibraryThing Zeitgeist, the most popular book in my library is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J. K. Rowling. Evidently my copy is just one of 32,518 listed in LT catalogs.
I read the book several years ago. My cousin had actually loaned me several of the Harry Potter books, but I returned them unread. I am not a big fan of YA fiction and Harry Potter didn't really interest me. As I heard more and more about it though, my curiosity grew, and I decided to give it a try. It turned into one of those instances where I wanted to kick myself for waiting so long to give the book a try. I loved it.
The most popular book listed on the LibraryThing Zeitgeist that I do not have in my library is Life of Pi by Yann Martel, a book 31,281 LT members have listed in their libraries. This is one book that has never really appealed to me despite the numerous attempts by fans of the book to make me give it a try.
Popularity in terms of who has what in their library at LT has nothing to do with my reading choices. I have never really paid close attention to the Zeitgeist page before. There are some interesting statistics listed, but I do not imagine any of those stats would have an impact on my own reading or library content. It is hard not to be impacted, however, by frequent book chatter about a popular book. Whether it is in book groups, through advertisements, displays in the store, on blogs, and other websites, it is a given that the book will come to my attention. Whether I choose to read it or not will depend on if the book catches my fancy. Sometimes blogger reviews or word of mouth recommendations influence my decision. A book's popularity in and of itself is not enough to get me to read a book. I am most interested in what a book is about and whether or not the subject matter interests me. Whether it makes a bestseller's list or wins a popularity contest makes no difference.