CONFESSION: I hate recommending books to people, but I like receiving recommendations.
Some people find it easy to recommend books. But me? Well, if you ask for a book recommendation, I initially think:
But then, I go maybe???? I do want to recommend my absolute favorite books, but gahhhhhhh.
Why I don’t like to recommend books?
- I panic. I want to be able to give specific reasons why the person should read the book I’m shoving into their face, but sometimes it’s hard on the account of book amnesia. How am I gonna convince somebody to read, such as, I’ll Give You the Sun when all I want to do is shove the book into people’s faces, saying READ OR DIE or BECAUSE I SAID SO? (Do people like that?) I don’t know if unintelligible dinosaur screeches will suffice.
- I worry. Will they like it? What if the reader doesn’t like the book? Will they feel love for the friendships? I’d be in a perpetual state of worry, basically holding my breath and not letting myself breathe until the person has told me whether they liked it or not. I’ll be sad that they don’t share the same love I have for the book.
- Disappointment. I don’t want the reader to feel disappointed, nor do I want to feel disappointed that they don’t love it.
All that anxiety, no thanks!
I know people have different tastes, and they won’t love what I love. I want to take part in the book recommending because there are plenty of books that I’d like to recommend that render me unintelligible. I’m looking for fellow readers who can scream incoherently with about all the feelings the book is inflicting upon me. And if that reader isn’t that book kindred spirit, I get sad.
You want to recommend a book to me? I’m all ears!
Now, here’s the thing, if you want to give me a book recommendation, I come a-running.
YES PLEASE TELL ME WHICH BOOK YOU THINK I WILL LOVE.
I’m like a golden retriever who comes pouncing through the meadow, slobber emerging from my mouth, trying to get whatever treat I’m being offered. Just tell me! Even if I tell you, “you’re a life ruiner” or “WHY DO YOU DO THIS?” I love adding new books to my TBR list, especially books that feature found families, space, thieves, spies, and siblings. Give them all to meeee!
Just because I don’t like recommending books doesn’t mean I don’t do it.
I just don’t do it as often as I’d like to.
And when I do recommend books, I tend to keep the reason to a maximum of five words. My usual go-to sentences that I use to recommend books are:
- GO READ IT.
- BECAUSE I SAID SO.
- IT HAS [INSERT AWESOME TROPE OR THEMES LIKE FOUND FAMILIES OR SPACE TRAVEL].
- I LOVE IT SOOOOO
- [Insert similar TV show or book]
- [Insert short phrases like “Sleuths, Paranormal, Sass”]
- IT NEEDS TO BE READ.
- DO ITTTTTTT
Very descriptive reasons why, right? (I’m sure I’ve left out plenty of other sentences, but I can’t remember them all.)
And I have a habit of ending each recommendation with, “I really hope you like it. If you don’t, it’s okay! More for me! I can love it for the both of us.” Can you sense the worry when I say it? I always try to prepare myself, as if I’m protecting myself from the hurt of no love for my favorite book.
I envy those who can recommend books easily.
It’s a talent. One that I’m not sure I have. I’m just not satisfied with how I recommend books. It feels somewhat lackluster.
So props to every book pusher. You are good.