Now that 2015 is officially over, we can put the year in perspective. While there are lots of different ways that can be used to analyze 2015, I want to use a specific method. Books. How was 2015 in books?
Don’t judge a book by its cover
First of all, what kind of books seemed to be popular in 2015?
After scanning some book selling sites, it seems that a whole new genre has risen up amongst all great books.
“A new genre?” you might think. “Didn’t we have enough already?”
Perhaps. But since some people are still eager to buy these books, the stores are still filing up with new sorts of books that can add something to the bulging book market.
But about what kind of books am I talking right now?
Vlogger books! The writers of these also known as “book vloggers”.
Take for example the extremely weird but successful “Selp Helf” by “Miranda Sings”, characterized by Colleen Ballinger.
Oddly enough, with this new category of books it seems to be of no importance what exactly is in the book.
According to the title, “Selp Helf” will not really attribute a lot to getting handy tips and tricks on life (if that’s what you expected). The content of the book only strengthens this thought.
The same thing applies to “This Book Loves You”, written by “Pewdiepie” (whose real name doesn’t really matter, cause everyone knows him by his vlogger name). This book even dares to do the exact opposite as to what it promised to offer: instead of a book full of optimistic insights on life, you get to read a book filled with depressing quotes like “Don’t cry over spilled milk. Cry over how sad your life is”.
Even though these books seem to contain no real depth, they seem to rise in popularity.
Why? Because they’re written by all these funny vloggers people follow on YouTube.
Is it a loss of quality, a destruction of our book market? Not at all!
It’s actually a big stimulus for all budding writers out there that could add something to our literature! Moreover, this genre could also attract an audience that would normally never even think about picking up a book.
So, what more is there to say about 2015?
Besides the publishing of a lot of sequels to series which we never even knew were series (yes, I’m talking about “To Kill A Mockingbird”‘s sequel “Go Set A Watchman”), this book year was also characterized by the the exposure of some novels reflecting our society in a terrifying way.
What do you think about the book Rise of ISIS, written by Jay Sekulow in June this year? Or Er ist wieder da (translated in English as Look Who’s Back), translating the fear of a new tyrant or just the fear of our own stupidity in an absurd story about Hitler waking up in our present-day society? Indeed, this book was written a couple of years ago, but with the movie coming out in 2015, the novel suddenly became the talk of the town.
Books like this may scare us, in a way that it fortifies our fear of unknown powers. On the other hand, books like this could also be of some support, since we know that we aren’t handling these feelings and fears alone. Moreover, they could warn us for our own stupidity.
A last striking developement is the increasing popularity of fairy tales. “Fairy tales?” I hear you thinking. “Those were written hundreds of years ago, right? How is that a current development?”
Indeed, you’re right. But maybe I’m not talking about those fairy tales. What if I tell you that modern fairy tales are still told throughout the world?
Particularly in Young Adult, fairy tales are still being retold in a modern way. Usually, the setting and certain themes in the novels are bringing to mind the old fairy tales we know.
Especially Snow White seems to be popular amongst the Young Adult novelists, judging from the apples gracing the most beautiful covers; Winter, the last in The Lunar Chronicles, The Isle of the Lost, first in Descendants and Tear You Apart, second novel in Beau Rivage.
After telling you about all these special shifts in our literary society, there’s only one thing left to say:
I wish you all a bookly 2016!