Monday, 4 October 2010

What an Oprah Pick Means

I was reading over at  The Savvy Reader a terrific post regarding Oprah's lastest book pick.  Last week the office staff at a HarperCollins office were crowded into a lounge to watch her and find out which book would be announced. 

As you probably know by now Freedom by Jonathon Frazen was selected.  Browse inside Freedom

At the end of that post, Jason asked whether this announcement by Oprah affects your choice in reading this book.

I checked in my Read, Remember, Recommend journal and found the list of approximately sixty books that Oprah has previously recommended.  Of those listed I have read two.  I have a further three marked off as wanting to read.  Clearly I don't use Oprah as a source for suggesting books to me.  In fact, I would say that I tend to avoid book pushed by celebrities.  I don't say this is a good approach, but that's how it happens with me.  I might be missing out on some good reads. 

On reflection, I'd say that I don't want to get sucked into buying an overly hyped book.  Imagine you are a reviewer and you read this current book and hate it, would you post and honest review or would you go with the flow not wanting to rock the boat?

Did you purchase this book solely on Oprah's recommendation?  What did you think of it?  Are you planning to read it?  buy it? borrow it from your library?

Be sure to leave a comment as I am curious if I am standing alone in my reluctance.


The Single Nester said...

I stopped picking up Oprah's picks years ago. I was a devotee for years but after some real boring page turners, I said "enough." It has been freeing :)

Shan said...

I wasn't going to read the book until Oprah announced it as her pick and it was everywhere so I found out what it's about it and thought it sounded interesting. So I guess maybe Oprah does have a hand in what I read ;)

I've read a few of her book club picks but never at the time they've been picked. I did pick up A Million Little Pieces when she had it on her show but before all the drama and it was one of the worst books I've read (and I didn't get far into it.) After that I stopped taking her advice.

However, I do think that if her book club did get people reading who otherwise wouldn't be reading, then that's a good thing. I just hope they also picked up books that she weren't recommended by her.

Heather said...

I have to agree with Shan, that if Oprah chosing books gets more people reading, thats a good thing.

I heard earlier that books stores will order an Oprah pick, before it's even announced what the book will be so that they will have lots on hand the day it is announced. they receive sealed boxes that they are not allowed to open until a specified time.

The Book Chick said...

I'm reading "Freedom" right now, and I'm almost reading it despite Oprah's opinion. I've been hearing about it since Jennifer Weiner and Jodi Picoult spoke out about how the NYT Book Review favours "white male literary darlings", and I feel that I need to read this book in order to have an informed opinion about whether or not the book is worthy of all of the hype.

My opinion on Oprah? Who says that she's the best judge of what I should be reading? I base my reading choices primarily on what my fellow bloggers are saying because at least I know that we've had similar choices in the past. But I suppose if she gets people reading, that's primarily what matters...

Dorte H said...

I have never even considered buying a book because a celebrity recommended it. I buy most of my books based on recommendations by bloggers I know share my taste.

Anonymous said...

A few Oprah picks were some of the first books I tried when I started bookcrossing. It was just so easy to to take one home and I'd have no guilt about giving them a shot. Generally, I didn't like most of the four or five I've checked out but I do agree that encouraging reading is always good. (it's kinda the same way I can see a positive aspect to the "Harry Potter" series)

Clare said...

Heather, I hardly ever read anything on Oprah's recommendation, but I picked up Freedom the first day it was out because I loved The Corrections so much. Freedom did not disappoint. It's brilliantly written.