Booking Through Thursday: Influence


Do other people influence what you choose to read? When a family member recommends something, or a friend says they hated a book you were planning to read … does it affect your reading choices?

My immediate response was no, but I think that’s just because you mentioned family. My family aren’t big readers. We always had copious amounts of books in the house, but they were mostly self-help or travel books. And my brother just finished a book I got him a few years ago. The last time my mother forced me to read something—it was either Silas Marner or Anna Karenina—I was still enough of an angry little wombat that I spitefully forgot everything about the book but the title. (I was an extremely mean child.) My parents also confiscated my copy of Lit Riffs once as a kid (they’d bought it for me sight unseen), so I think I just figured out at some point in my pre-adolescence that my reading, thin on the ground as that was, was best kept to myself. And that’s colored our bookish relationship; I’m the one that recommends. 

But I do take some recommendations from friends. A very few come from friends in real life, but the most come from the wonderful book bloggers I’ve come to know over the past three years. I think Ana, Jodie, Renay, and Eva have the most recommendations to their names on my giant spreadsheet. It’s still fairly sparing, but I think that’s because most of my recommendations have come out of Nancy Pearl’s Book Lust and More Book Lust, so.

As for people telling me they hated a book I was planning to read… I usually power through to see what the fuss is about. If it’s awful, then we’ve got something to snark at together! If it isn’t—well, taste is so subjective.

14 thoughts on “Booking Through Thursday: Influence

  1. I love my current job because all my coworkers are voracious readers, which gives me a whole new book recommendation revenue stream. But really I still get most of my recommendations from bloggers. They are cool that way.

  2. Other book bloggers are usually where I get most of my recommendations from as well. I find that I have specific people who have similar reading tastes and I trust their reviews. I’m also not opposed to reading a book that everyone hated, though…sometimes it’s really amusing!

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