Back to work and everyday life now! Here’s this week’s question:
How often do you recommend books to others, and who do you recommend them to? Do you only recommend books to your “reading friends” or to anyone you think might find the book interesting? What does it take for a book to make it to your “recommendation” list?
I would say I recommend books pretty frequently — to others online and through my blog; at LibraryThing; on BookMooch . . . and then to all the folks I see every day, like my friends, family and coworkers. My sister and I have pretty similar tastes in fiction, so I usually put all of the books I’ve read and loved into a stack for her. My coworkers are also book lovers, so I usually recommend good fiction I’ve come across or grab a book or two for my friends’ children when I can.
I don’t recommend books exclusively to my bookish friends — anytime I chat with someone and can think of a book I know they’ll like, I usually tell them about it. It’s a blessing and a curse. Just this past weekend I told a cousin about Scared of Santa — a photo collection of children screaming and crying on Santa’s lap. My little cousins DJ and Lane weren’t so big on Santa this year! Maybe next year!
For a book to make my “recommendation” list, especially when I used to work at a bookstore, I had to have really felt something about it. If it’s fiction, it has to be one of those books you think about a long time after the cover has been closed and the book slapped up on a shelf. The sorts of characters that seem to peer over your shoulder while you’re typing, whispering advice in your ear or sharing a good story, are the novels I tell others about. In terms of nonfiction, I usually base my opinions on what friends and family have told me — and I would listen closely to the recommendations of customers, actually. If I didn’t have a lot of experience in a particular subject matter, I would recommend books based on what other folks were telling me about them — they’re tear-jerkers, too serious, really funny, etc. The system worked pretty well!