I don’t know about you, but when people I know find out I like reading, they often like to give me recommendations, even if they don’t read that much (which is fine!). But I obviously don’t have the time to read every book recommended to me, or the energy to seek all the books that are recommended to me out. So here is a definitive guide to responding to book recommendations.
- It’s a book you’ve already read, and loved. This person either knows you well, or has great taste. Definitely keep that friendship in your life.
- It’s a book you’ve already read, and hated. This person either doesn’t know you at all, or really dislikes you. You might want to stay wary around them.
- It’s a book you’ve heard about and want to read . If you think this person is trustworthy, you should try and obtain this book! It will give you something to talk about with them, and hopefully give you more insight into who they are.
- It’s a book in a genre you love. This is great news! You and the recommender can hopefully bond over your fave vampire romances or teenage pregnancy books or science nonfiction or whatever it is.
- It’s a book the person has on them. This tells you that the recommender is truly bookish. You should also feel more inclined to listen to their recommendation because you know you can easily borrow it from them.
- It’s a book in a genre you dislike. If the person highly reccommends their favourite biographies to you, and you don’t usually touch biographies with a 10-foot pole, you have two options. A) if the recommender is someone you trust and like, maybe it’s time to broaden your mind. Give the book a shot! At the very least it will give you something to talk about. B) If you don’t think the recommender has your best interests at heart, say a polite ‘that sounds interesting, but I have quite a few books on the TBR already so I might not make it a priority’ and run.
- It’s a book you’ve never heard of. Your response to the recommendation will vary based on who gives it . Ask more questions to deduce if it’s something you’d enjoy. Think about whether you’re ever going to see the book recommender again. Decide whether trying something random is worth the time and effort.
- It’s a book you’ve heard of, but you’re not sure if you want to read it. Open your mind to the recommender, making a mental note of the pros and cons of reading said book. For example, if it doesn’t sound quite like your thing but you know you will be hounded until you read it, go for it. If you think you’d love it, definitely go for it. If it sounds interesting but isn’t at the library and nobody you know owns the book, then you might have to give it a miss. Weigh up how badly you need another thing on your TBR.
In summary, I think getting book recommendations is great. It can tell you a lot about someone and what they think you’ll like. Ultimately, you don’t have to feel obliged to read everything you’re told you’ll like. Use discernment and enjoy having bookish conversations.
Have you been recommended to read anything recently? How do you respond to book recs? Do you have any for me?