Rambling: Why I am bad at recommending books

So as someone who reads a lot and talks about reading often, it happens that people come to me asking for recommendations on what to read next. And while I think it’s really nice of these people to trust my taste in book, it’s also really not something I’m good at. As a person I have my personal likes and dislikes in books (duh) and as a person you will have these as well. And even if we have talked about books, it’s still really hard to judge how you will feel about books. And if I know you a little better, am up to date about what you’ve read recently and how you felt about those books; recommending books is still so difficult!

Usually I have so little imagination when it comes to recommending books. I can only think about 5 books back into my own reading, so many thinks beyond that point don’t even come to my attention. And seeing as I definitely get into genres for whole periods of time, it’ll be hard for me to find recommendations that lie outside that genre.

Another problem that occurs when I try recommending books is that I’m never really certain if a book will be the thing this person needs to read now. Same goes the other way though, whenever someone talks about wanting to reading a book I didn’t enjoy. I will share my opinion, yet I don’t want to definitively discourage them from reading this book because who knows, they might enjoy it!

How are you at recommending books? Are you the recommendation master, the person all of your friends with? Or the person who cannot think of a great book this person will love? Do you like recommending books or is it just one of the horrors that come with your love for reading?

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One thought on “Rambling: Why I am bad at recommending books

  1. Recommending books can definitely be tricky! Right now, I think I have a fairly good record for people I know pretty well and whose reading tastes I know pretty well. I do think it’s a bit crazy when someone whose reading tastes I DON’T know asks for recommendation. What if I suggest a fantasy book without realizing they hate fantasy? I always have the urge to hand people a questionnaire to facilitate the process, grilling them on what they do and don’t like, what they’ve read recently, etc.

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