Recently, I’ve started reading books at work through my Amazon account, and the hardest part is always choosing what to read next.  As someone who doesn’t really care what’s trending, I find that the recommendations of the most popular reads are nearly useless for me, and often settle back into familiar favorites.  Stephen King short-story collections, 80s science fiction that I remember fondly and the occasional thing-that-I-remember-thinking-I-should-read here or there makes for a nice, relaxing way to fill my time.  Still, I wonder if I’m missing Important Discourse™ by not being part of the most up-to-date books, leading to today’s literary query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) recently read a book called “Ella Minnow Pea” which intentionally used fewer and fewer letters as it went along, providing an amazing premise and a cool gimmick all in one, asking: When you consider a movie, film, book or show, how important is what’s trending to your decision?

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

4 Comments

  1. Jarmo Seppänen on

    Not really that important. On the other hand, if something is hugely popular, I tend to go in more with “okay, impress me” mentality.

  2. Not really important. I do like things that tend to be popular sometimes, but popular doesn’t always mean good.

  3. Daniel Langsdale on

    Typically I know my own tastes and interests well enough not to be too swayed by public reception. But I suppose that for digital media “What’s Trending” is important to me in an inverse way. If something is trending then I feel comfortable that it will be around and available for awhile, so I’m safer waiting on it while I get around to something else that the host company may decide is no longer worth the space on their servers/cloud/whatever.

    Similarly, in non-plague times, a movie that’s doing well in the theater will be there longer for me to see on the big screen, so I would prioritize films with a more lackluster critical response that I nevertheless want to see loud and large.

    Having said that, I listen to a fair number of geeky podcasts, and if something I listen to gives a TV show, etc. a review, I’m more likely to up-schedule a viewing so that I can listen to the podcast and know what’s being talked about.

  4. No. My interests tend to not coincide with what is trending.
    Also, as Dan said, Popular is not always good. It’s like your mother said. “If all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you do it also?”

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