Monday, September 09, 2019

In Which I Handsold a Book to a Stranger

Or, alt title, 7 Things About Book Recommendations.
1. In some places on the web, I refer to myself as a book evangelist. I take this role somewhat seriously and nothing irritates me more than seeing someone ask for something fluffy and seeing people suggest Gone Girl. Thrillers and mysteries may be your happy place and there is nothing wrong with that. But unless someone says tell me the last thing you read and loved, book recommendations are not a free for all.
2. To expand further on the point, some people are proving they read, rather than providing a recommendation. I get it. We lead busy lives and the average reader reads five books a year. One of those five may not be the thing the person said they are looking for. You may not have great recall for things you read prior years. Ansd you may never have read the thing they are looking for. But you want to prove you read.You love reading.
3. Here's what you can do. You can reply and say, nothing like this comes to mind, but I'll keep an eye on this thread to see the recommendations. See, now you've contributed without muddying the recommendation list.
4. But this book I read is so good, you say. Cool. There are a million places designed for people to share things they love. You can start your own thread, write a review, compose a song
5. If you think you have something close, you can ask follow ups. Would you be open to this? 
6. So now we get back to the original premise. I was in the bookstore and my friend and I, who were both there for the romance book group, were looking at the romance display from Read a Romance Month. A lady heard us and said she'd recently read a romance, liked it and wanted suggestions. 
7. I started with a novella, figuring low commitment. She felt it was too short. She told me she the author she had read. They didn't have that author there but we went to the romance section and I suggested another. She was lukewarm. My friend picked up a recent read of hers and I said oh yes, these are characters of a similar age to what you had read, this should work. She stuck it right into her basket. 
Now I will possibly never see this lady again. But in many cases this is a friend or someone you interact with regularly. The idea is not to prove you read. The idea is to prove yourself a person who provides good recommendations. You don't want them to read a thing that wasn't what they signed on for. Nothing deflates happy book sharing joy faster.

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