Nov 162010

This question has been in the back of my mind for a while now and after this weekend I decided I wanted to see what other people thought on the topic.

Most of my IRL friends are not as into books as I am, except for one. I have been talking to her about my blog and the books I read and I recently gave her my copies of the Pretty Little Liars series and The Hunger Games series to try out. She loved both of them so when we met up this weekend, I brought her more of my own books. While I was going through my shelves trying to figure out what to give her, I started to get a little worried that she might not like the books I recommend (even though my track record with her is still on the positive side). Then another question popped into my head – should I recommend a book I didn’t like? 

What are your thoughts? Do you ever worry that the books you recommend won’t be liked? Have you ever recommended a book you loved but the person you recommended it to didn’t like it at all? Do you recommend books that you didn’t particularly like? I’d love to hear your comments!

  11 Responses to “Thoughts on recommending books to friends”

  1. I have a friend that reads but I’ve learned that we have vastly different tastes. I’ve recommended her some books and she just thought they were alright and she’s recommended me books and I hate them.

    I always do feel anxious if I recommend something to somebody. I’m so scared they will hate it and never listen to me again! lol

  2. I’m a middle school librarian so I’m recommending books everyday to students and staff. I recommend books I don’t love if I know the student will like it. If I’m recommending to an adult I’ll tell them I didn’t love it. I think it’s fun to see what they think. There are often times when students don’t like books I’ve recommended. I just try again. I always tell people that I won’t be offended if they hate it but they have to tell me why :) Still, when it’s peers and friends I’m recommending to I REALLY want them to like it!

  3. I try to recommend based on the person’s tastes, but often I’m out of my league when it comes to recommendations, because the type of books I read are so often far from the norm. Normally I just say things like “I loved such and such books” and let them choose whether or not that’s a recommendation. :D

  4. My friend and I are complete opposites. We barely agree on books. She’s obsessed with the Immortals series and I could barely finish the first book. I LOVED and RAVED about Nevermore and she just thought it was okay. I think if she’s liked books you’ve given her so far, you can kind of get a feel for what she likes by that, and deviate accordingly. If she LOVED a shifter book, give her a shifter book that you didn’t quite love. If she hated a fey book, steer clear of those. Everyone’s different and there’s a book for everyone!! :) ah, the beauty of reading!

  5. Ask her what type of books she likes – romance? contemporary? paranormal? dystopian? And then base your recommendations off of that. When a friend asks me for suggestions (and I know they haven’t read much YA stuff) I usually recommend the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. I think it has a good amount of paranormal & romance in it. Don’t be afraid to suggest something you may have not enjoyed – it could be to her liking.

  6. If I’m recommending books to someone that doesn’t read (or doesn’t read very much), I’m VERY careful to recommend books that I think would be interesting to THEM. I don’t think I’ve recommended anything that I didn’t like, though they perhaps aren’t my favorites.

    If I’m recommending books to a reader, I’m not worried…if they don’t like it, it won’t turn them off from reading! My SIL is a reader, so I’m going to loan her a stack of books I think may hold interest for her over the holidays. I doubt she’ll like all of them, but I’ll let her make that decision. She doesn’t have to pretend to like the books she doesn’t like, because there’s likely to be at least one that she did!

  7. I have a friend that I lend books to, we have very similar taste but we do like to exchange ones we didn’t quite like to see if the other will enjoy it. Most times we are the same.

    I enjoy doing this because it its great to find someone else that truly has a similar style of reading as you.

  8. I don’t have a lot of irl friends who read much, particularly the kinds of things I read. My mom generally likes books I suggest for her; we have fairly similar taste.

    I tried giving Dash and Lily to one of my best friends recently. He is a poet and doesn’t read much fiction, but he has liked some David Levithan stuff. He’s totally not into it. It kind of broke my heart because I think that book is about as close to perfection as anything I’ve ever read.

    I also loaned my Grandpa some of my John Green books. He used to be a librarian, and he has read some of the other things I blogged about and liked them. He couldn’t get into John Green. It made me so sad.

    I think I’m going to mostly stick to making recommendations for blog people. They go over much better. I generally only suggest books I love, but sometimes if a book sounds like something another person would like I will tell them about it even if it isn’t my favorite.

  9. As a librarian, I’m all about “readers advisory.” And, yes it is very difficult to recommend a book that I didn’t like. I usually just say “this book is about . . ” and don’t give my opinion. It helps to ask your friend what books they liked, to suggest read-alikes. If that doesn’t work, I just start suggesting my recent favs. I don’t think the fact that you recommend something they end up not liking is a reflection on you as a person, or your friendship. I certainly hope not!

  10. I recently recommended the Private series who loved my reviews of the PLL series and ended up reading those. I think she likes them a lot, but I do get nervous recommending sometimes!

  11. Yes, I do recommend books I didn’t love, if I still respect them as good books. I “try” not to take it personally when someone doesn’t love my favorites, but it’s hard.

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