Why Books are Like People

I love everything about sharing books.  I love talking about them.  I love disagreeing about them.  I even love wear marks that come back on books I’ve lent out.  If a book was also a movie, I prefer that the book cover be in it’s original state, not it’s Hollywood-movie-poster state.

My friends come to me for book recommendations because I read widely and can usually figure out, from examples of books they actually enjoyed, what they’re likely to enjoy next.  I only have one friend to whom I can’t recommend books, and that’s okay because he delights in liking nothing.

I read an article in which the author talked about being afraid that books he/she recommended wouldn’t be liked by the receiver.  Or that the author wouldn’t like a gifted book.


I guess that’s kind of like blind dating.  You love the book (or the person), and you just know that someone else will too.  But it’s too much pressure, or it doesn’t work out for some strange reason that others outside the relationship don’t understand.

Much like dating, a relationship with a book is based on chemistry.  There are some books I’ve loved but don’t know why, and other books I’ve hated (or not finished) when I felt like I should love them.  I describe myself as a moody reader.  Sometimes I’ll look at my bookshelves and declare I have nothing to read (mostly because I’m not in the mood for any of the 973 books on my TBR pile).  Other times I’ll look at my shelves and want to read three books immediately.

When people don’t like a book I’ve recommended (or I don’t like a book they’ve recommended), I remind myself that it’s not personal.  The spark just isn’t there.  But disagreeing on a book can spark a discussion in a way that agreeing often doesn’t.  I’ve had discussions where everyone agrees, and while they’re nice, they don’t tend to be as dynamic as passionate arguments.  Arguing over books gives me an opportunity to get to know a friend better, to see the book in new and different ways, and maybe learn something.

What’s the last book that was given to you?  And did you like it/ dislike it/ put it on a pile and forget about it?