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What Would You Recommend?

2010 November 30

Just like we do with movies, tv shows, and bands, we depend on recommendations to find good books to read. When I’m not picking books up off the street, I’m perusing book reviews and GoodReads, or asking friends if they’ve read anything good lately. I keep my “to read” shelf on GoodReads full to the brim of all the recommendations I get, so that way I can just glance at them when I need something new.

But there’s another side to book recommendations–when YOU do the recommending. This article in The Guardian talks about what can go wrong when you recommend your favorites to friends and loved ones–what if they hate it? What if they blame you for wasting their time? Worse, what if they completely ignore your recommendation, making you feel inferior, as if that book you treasure isn’t worth their time?

Of course, this can happen in the reverse as well–what if you hate the book someone has given you as a gift, or recommended with rave reviews? Do you step on their fragile pride and tell them your honest opinion or just smile and pretend you loved it (or read it in the first place)?

Where do you stand on the recommendation scale? And…do you have any recommendations for me?

*image via Bookshelf Porn

3 Responses Post a comment
  1. Joe permalink
    November 30, 2010

    I feel like you’re trying to tell me something here.

  2. Amanda permalink
    November 30, 2010

    I feel like you’re trying to tell Joe something here.

  3. kyley permalink
    November 30, 2010

    My mother is a famously bad recommender, because if she loves something she assumes EVERYONE will love that same thing. This, I think, is where recommendations go south.

    I try to make sure that I am recommending a book/movie/TV show to a real person. That is, I’ve really thought about what *they* might like, rather than talk about what I love. Does that make sense?

    The only exception to this is, of course, The Wire, which everyone ever should clearly see.

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