I have less than two hundred pages to read in The Book Thief, and I don’t have much to say about it right now. I am in 1943, and the war has come to Molching in the form of air raids. The family hides in a neighbor’s basement when the air raid sirens go off, but they have to leave Max in their basement, which was rated as not deep enough to be safe during an air raid. They are basically leaving him, possibly to die, fairly frequently. So far he hasn’t, which is good. Max seems like a nice fellow. Oh, and Death has been giving us glimpses of the work he’s been doing around Europe while Liesel and her family are living their lives. It’s been fairly dismal, but there at least are the books that bring Liesel joy. I’m finding enjoyment in the book, but I find myself thinking ahead to what I’m going to read next. I always do this when I’m getting close to the end of a book, but it’s a bit different this time. This time, I’m thinking strategy. I’m thinking of page views.
Bethany and I are always cognizant of our page views on the blog. This year we have had steady growth every month (thank you all for that), but June has been amazing so far, very likely because of Bethany’s prior posts about Diana Gabaldon’s Voyager series. And I’ve been thinking that there is no way we can maintain this once the excitement about Written in My Own Heart’s Blood wear off. Then I thought of the obvious answer: I can start reading popular books to keep our page views up, like maybe Game of Thrones. I’d been thinking about reading it anyway. But then, I remembered that I’ve spent the bulk of my adult reading career avoiding books that are too popular. It’s the rebel in me. Some people chain themselves to redwoods; some people refuse to read George R.R. Martin. So I’ve found myself in a dilemmical situation, to quote someone Bethany and I have known for a long time. Do I stay true to my long held reading principles? Or do I start reading popular fiction so we can expand our readership?
Ultimately, I expect I’m not going to make reading choices based on a desire to increase page views, though it’s really tempting. I fear it’s a slippery slope. Today, it’s Game of Thrones. Tomorrow, what will it be? Nicholas Sparks? I may read Game of Thrones soon, because the hype is getting to me. It’s freaking everywhere. All the time. I’ve been worn down by popular fiction before, and I expect it will happen again, but I’m hoping to avoid doing so with ulterior motives. We must all have our morals, after all.