Booking Through Thursday: Influence

Are your book choices influenced by friends and family? Do their recommendations carry weight for you? Or do you choose your books solely by what you want to read?

When I was a wee lass, my mother occasionally tried to make me read great classics, but that plan backfired–I was told to read Silas Marner before I could dig into Good Omens. (I read most of the Gaiman novels at twelve or thirteen, because geeky children have no concept of inappropriate.) Good Omens is one of my favorite novels, and I don’t remember a thing about Silas Marner to this day. Perhaps because of this, my friends and family don’t really influence my reading.

Most of my book recommendations come from either the book blogosphere or reading professional reviews in The New York Times. It’s a matter of two things–either I’ve already read what they would recommend, or their taste is wildly different than mine. For instance, my brother is aghast at my hatred of The Historian, which he quite enjoyed, so it’s clear our tastes in books are so wildly different that we can’t really recommend books to each other. It doesn’t really occur to me to ask for recommendations, and my friends and family simply don’t recommend books to me.

13 thoughts on “Booking Through Thursday: Influence

  1. I used to get loads of personal recommendations, but it’s far fewer now. My reading tastes have diverged dramatically from the friends and family members who used to like all the same books as I did; and my mother, who has a lot of the same reading tastes, has pretty much exhausted her list of recommendations for me. So yeah, it’s mainly blogs now. Occasionally I will read something that a friend recommends for me, but I’m always skeptical, and usually rightly so.

    • Even my fairly literary friends and acquaintances tend to keep from recommending things to me- I know a girl who didn’t enjoy The Lord of the Rings, so we have sort of a mutual agreement to not recommend each other books!

  2. Great blog! I loved Silas Marner, haven’t read Good Omens but think I would like it, but also hated The Historian. Taste in books can be really random, so recommendations are tricky. Good idea to stick with NYT reviews!

  3. The Historian was not my favorite either…it was one of those situations where it was recommended a lot in my circle and I had to struggle to get through it. Sometimes they are great rec’s and sometimes, not so much!

  4. And once you’ve found someone who likes a lot of the same books that you do, it’s dangerous! I have a friend who we can hardly talk about anything else…

  5. I’m the same as you I think. The bloggers I read either have similar tastes or wildly divergent ones, and I end up coming up with most of my ideas myself.

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