Time for a rant!
Has the modern consumer lost the ability to find a good book? Or have we all become victims of the almighty, unstoppable band wagon? Most people I know are watching game of thrones. Most of those people are now reading game of thrones. Far be it from me to shake my head at this. I’ll be honest, I absolutely love the books and having read them some time ago am glad that the show does them so much justice. However how many of those people reading the game of thrones series now would have picked up George R. R Martin’s novels without the HBO series?
This game of thrones syndrome has been around for some time now. You may have seen people with other forms of it over the past decade. There was the Hunger Games malady recently, you still see a few cases of it on the trains and buses. Before that there was twilight disorder, a rather unfortunate disease, (I have been told there is no known cure). More recently I have noticed people with a bad case of the Gatsby epidemic (Currently #1 best seller on Book depository), the threatening life of pie disease and the slightly rarer Warm bodies plague.
These afflictions manifest themselves in many ways. First signs are a media hype before a soon to be released show or movie. Then patients see a sudden rush to purchase the said book that, unbeknownst to them, has been around for some time prior to the screen rights being sold. Before anyone realises the full blown syndrome has caught the publishing world in its villainous grip. Soon our top ten bestseller list has been diluted by ten books that are currently made into a movie or show, and those few books that are trailing behind them, that have not yet sold their rights to a movie studio are left holding on for dear life, whilst the syndrome looks for its next target.
Credit to the authors of these novels. I tip my hat to their creative genius. (Ok, sparkling vampires, does not qualify as creative genius). Yet it saddens me that prior to the movies/shows, few people would have walked into a bookstore and picked up these books.
Ok I admit, the situation isn’t that dire. Sometimes I just wonder if future generations will remember that the books come first. They should try walking into the bookstore for a change and finding the next victim of the syndrome before its collected by the band wagon. Then again, where do you even find a bookstore anymore 😉
I have to confess I also started reading GoT after the series started. In my defense, I stopped watching after the first few episodes to first read the books before I continued with the series. Please add to my plea that I’m a huge fantasy fan and usually browse the fantasy section of the bookshop for new reading material, and I cannot recall ever having seen Martin’s books before the series came out, otherwise I would have been a fan years ago already. (Please note I live in South Africa and in most bookshops the fantasy section comprises a single shelf.)
And that is maybe an advantage of the syndrome – it turns people to authors who would otherwise have faded into obscurity (which is not to say that’s necessarily a bad thing…) I started reading Gatsby two years ago and never got past the first chapter. I was thinking of getting the Kindle sample for Hunger Games to see if it will be worth it to buy the series, but it’s not that high on my priorities list.
As for the Twilight disorder: the only hope is that you develop an immunity – you feel so ashamed after having read it that you never touch it again. Much more worrisome is the 50 Shades pandemic. With a movie due to come out things can only get worse.
I do agree that there are a lot of books that I would never have come across were it not for the screen adaptations. So I must say that there are definitely some more positive side effects to the syndrome.
And I have been told that specialists are likening the 50 shades pandemic to the ebola virus.