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?

K is for Kaleidoscope

I’m not big on receiving gifts.  Don’t get me wrong; I love them.  The problem is that I prefer that others pick them out, and many people believe I’m hard to buy for.  I’m not!  Really.  Okay, so you can’t buy me books because you don’t know what I have already.  And I have enough candles to burn most of the West Coast.  And hmm… well I don’t really do much else other than read, write, and burn candles.  Oh, I garden!  Okay, maybe I am hard to buy for.

I dread Christmas because people always want lists of potential gifts from me.  Well, one year, I found something I actually wanted… a kaleidoscope.  My husband thought I was crazy, and didn’t end up getting it for me.  I found a cool tin one on ebay and later bought it for myself.  When we moved, the movers stepped on it and busted it!  Once again, I was sans kaleidoscope.

I resigned myself to a life without a kaleidoscope.  I found a couple of cool kaleidoscope apps at the Apple apps store, and contented myself with that.

Time passed, the the great kaleidoscope debacle melted into memory.  For my last anniversary, my husband brought home the coolest handmade kaleidoscope.  It’s shaped like a wooden egg outside and is a beaded kaleidoscope inside.  He said they looked at him funny when he got all excited by the find, but it was one of my best gifts ever!