We’ve all taken a social media quiz or two that evaluated the scope of our literary repertoire. For many of us these quizzes are lighthearted fun, but they do offer feelings of validation or accomplishment, goading our literary egos into as sense of superiority. Quizzes that tell us our personality type, age, level of education based on the books we’ve read are regarded as badges of honor, as if by rattling off a list of books will earn us some kind of medal that makes us greater than others. While it is important to be well read and to partake of the wide variety of literature that is available to us, there are so many books that go unnoticed yet have the same value and merit as those that are more popular due to a publisher’s ability to get a particular writer a front row seat to a hungry reading audience.
Let’s face it: we’re all drawn to bestsellers – they catch our eye, become wildly popular books that take the general public by storm, and in doing so, they steal the limelight from books that are just as good, if not better. A book doesn’t have to translate to the big screen, win prestigious awards, or sell 10 million copies to be worthy of our attention. While it’s easy to look to lists of top sellers or prize winners, it’s also important to break through the fog of popularity and venture into lesser known or forgotten writers that do not make it to a bestseller list. Often your local bookshop is a great resource for finding titles that are not major publications but are just as noteworthy. If you’re looking for a new book to read, this is a great place to get a recommendation. Or you can check out this video for a list of titles – how many of these have you read?