One of the most terrifying things to me, I’ve learned, is lending someone a book that is an all time favorite or when someone tells me that they are reading a favorite books of mine because of how much I rave about.
I get excited for a few seconds where I get entirely too giddy that they are reading the book and that someone else will realize the GREATNESS AND AMAZINGNESS that this book is. I think of how people will THANK ME for my superb taste in books and they can’t believe they lived their life without reading this book but THEN I, the Book Recommendation Superhero, flew in to save the day. Watch out, Clark Kent. But then this cold-hearted biotch named Reality taps me on the shoulder and reminds me that “Hey, there’s a good possibility that this person may actually HATE this book.” ERRRR. Wait, what? Oh yeah. In my geeky fantasy I forgot that there is this thing called “differing tastes.” With bated breath, I find myself waiting to hear the verdict. Did they love the book? Will they think I have piss poor taste in books and never trust a single recommendation of mine again?! PLEASEREADITFASTOMG.
But honestly, as dramatic as it might sound, that’s how I feel when I lend someone a favorite book or I know they are reading it because of a recommendation I gave them. I WANT them to love it and feel the same feelings I felt towards it, naturally. I want everyone in the world to sing its praises. Maybe it’s because many of my favorite books I had very personal responses to or the moved me or I really identified to the character so it feels like a part of me? Or maybe I want people to trust my recommendations? Or I want them to feel the same way I felt because it was such a great experience? It’s probably a combination of all of those things but I really do get all anxious when I KNOW someone is reading something because I either lent it to them or recommended it to them.
I’m very aware that everything isn’t for everyone. I can’t understand how my fiance doesn’t really like chocolate or how my sister thinks my music is weird…but I can recognize that everyone has different tastes. I get it. But I still get super nervous when I’m sharing a FAVORITE book or song or movie with someone because there is that CHANCE that this might be something that won’t like. I had my best friend read The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath and she really didn’t like it or “get” it. I felt a little crushed. I did. I thought for sure she’d find it amazing. It’s one of my favorite books. But luckily, she didn’t let that “dud” of a recommendation for her make her reluctant to take my recommendations. Since then she read The Hunger Games and loved it and she read Between Shades of Gray and loved it. YAY ME. It’s always those moments that make my heart happy when someone says, “I’m reading this book because you raved about it!” and then ends up loving it as much as I did and having a similar response to it. It makes me connect to that person more, I think. For example, the lovely Asheley from Into the Hall of Books (a blog you should check out — she reads YA and adult..YAY my kind of girl!) told me she was reading The Bird Sisters, a book that was a favorite read of 2011, and I was SO nervous about that. She ended up LOVING it and had a very strong response to it. It made me feel closer to her, as a reader and friend, to read her thoughts and know where my own head was.
I think that’s the beauty of this community. Sharing books and connecting with others who love them as much as you…even when particular books don’t strike everyone the same way. You KNOW there’s always someone out there who DID love it.
Does this happen to anyone else when you lend a favorite book or know someone is reading it because of you? Or am I just super neurotic? lol