One thing that a lot of bookworms look for when reading books is originality. Without originality, it can seem as though when we’re reading different books in our favorite genre, we’re really reading the same story told in slightly different ways. It can be tiring and annoying to read the same cliches over and over. We want something different, something new that will pique our interest and make this book stand out amongst the rest.
Often when we have read all the new releases in a genre, we turn to older books to quench our thirst for more. And when we turn to these older books, they often feel unoriginal – they feel as though they’re the same story we just read. It can be frustrating, especially when these older books are ones that many people talk about and recommend. Why is everyone so obsessed with a book that completely lacks originality? This is your first time reading the book but that doesn’t always mean that it feels like it.
The problem is that often these backlist books were the ones to start these cliches or overdone storylines. If you read every newer dystopian and then go back and read The Hunger Games or go back even further and read 1984, you may not feel the same excitement and uniqueness with those books that other people did. You’ve already read a ton of other dystopians that have a lot of the same elements. It can leave you feeling like all those people who talked about how unique THG was were lying to you. Where’s this unique story that all these people promised you’d get?!
I think it’s important to remember that yes, this story may feel unoriginal. But it was maybe one of the first really popular books in this particular genre. It likely inspired many other books, some of which may be seen as cheap “rip-offs” while others borrow some elements but introduce others. So it feels unoriginal because you’ve read many of the books that were inspired and influenced by this one.
And guess what? It’s okay if a book has cliches or tropes that you’ve read about before. It’s okay! Originality may be nice to come across, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that without a totally new take on things, the book is garbage. It can bring uniqueness in other ways. Perhaps the author is just a really good storyteller and is able to make cliches feel fresh. Maybe they use cliches but add a certain spin to it. Having a completely original plot shouldn’t be the only thing that makes us feel that a book is worth our time.
I’m not really that this post has much of a point to it. I guess I just wanted to point out that sometimes books may not seem original because they inspired so many other books that took pieces of this so-called “unoriginal” story. I guess I wanted to tell people that it’s okay if a book is not a totally new, never-before-seen idea. Maybe I just needed to rant. But regardless, next time you feel that an older book is unoriginal, consider the fact that it inspired all those other books you’ve read that make this one seem overdone.