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.