#WDYTWed: when you read a book someone you know recommended to you

#WDYTWed: when you read a book someone you know recommended to you

In the almost ten years that I’ve been writing this blog (the first post was August 28, 2009), one of my favorite things has been interacting with the readers.

That used to happen a lot more. When I started out, I averaged 1,000 new words a day, but in more recent times, I just haven’t been able to do that. I’ve been trying to write more narratives again, but without that, the blog doesn’t tend to provoke many comments…and I miss that. I think my long time readers do, too.

One of those long time readers and amongst my most frequent commenters is Lady Galaxy, who recently suggested that I write something once a week with the intent of increasing interaction.

It’s a good idea. 🙂

I think the best way to do that is to do one or more polls (which I’ve done throughout the past decade).

I’ve decided to name this series #WDYTWed. WDYT is an internet abbreviation for “What Do You Think?”, and I’m going to do them on Wednesdays. Hopefully, every Wednesday, but we’ll see how that goes.

For this third one, I want to talk about what you do when you read a book someone you know recommended to you. I’m using “know” pretty loosely, here. I just mean someone with whom you have conversations, and that you will run into them again after you’ve started the book.

For example, as I wrote about a week ago, I ran into an author in the dog park. That author didn’t say, “Please read my book”, but it came up, and I did start reading it. I’m enjoying it so far. My Significant Other has also started reading it.

Just so you know, this is it:

Driftwood (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

The odds are high that I’ll run into the author again…so what happens then?

When I’m reading a book like that, I look for certain details that I can use to “prove” I read the book. 🙂 I’m a trainer as my day job, and that’s a trainer thing: we can spot what’s important in material when we prepare to teach a class. It makes us great bluffers, sometimes unintentionally.

One time, someone told me that they were going to surf competitively. I said, “Longboard?” Well, the surfer then launched into a detailed outline of the plan, and I had to say, “Wait, that’s all I know!” 😉 Just somewhere, at some point, I had run across the fact that longboard or not longboard was an important choice (at least, I think it is), and retained that.

In the case of Driftwood, one thing I thought I might reference was a quirky, family way of making decisions. We have something like that. I made a CD out of a whole bunch of soundclips from


Those are short lines from movies and TV shows.

We called the CD the “Magic Clip Ball”. Just for fun, if you were undecided about something, you would ask the question…and then have the CD player randomize a clip.

Sometimes, the clip seemed to directly apply, and in others, it required interpretation…just like many oracles of old.

If I run into the author again, I might bring that up…yes, partially to demonstrate that I read the book.

Why do I care?

Recommending a book to someone is a gift: showing you read it is a thank you.

Certainly, when I’ve loaned people books, or given them to them (I used to buy inexpensive copies of the first Doc Savage book, The Man of Bronze, when I would see them at used bookstores, so I could give them away), I’ve wanted to know that somebody read them.

Of course, the best thing would be to hear, “Wow, that book changed my life! Thank you so much!” I don’t need that, though. Honestly, I’d never ask somebody what they thought of a book I recommended. I don’t want to put them on the spot. Believe, me I know that what I like isn’t what everybody else wants. My Significant Other got me a t-shirt that said, “NOBODY’S TARGET MARKET”. 🙂 I get that. I’m okay with that. I’ve done okay with predicting what will be popular in the mainstream, but I don’t need my friends to love what I love.

I would like to know that they did read it, or at least tried it.

That’s how I feel about it…now let’s find out what you think!

What else to you think about this? Do you like it when people recommend books to you? Do you then feel obligated to read them? What’s the best book someone ever recommended to you? Do you have someone where you regularly exchange recommendations? While this post is about people you know, does it make a difference to you when a celebrity recommends a book? How about a book club? Feel free to let me and my readers know what you think by commenting on this post.

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Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog

5 Responses to “#WDYTWed: when you read a book someone you know recommended to you”

  1. Edward Boyhan Says:

    I don’t think Anyone has recommended a book to me in many years.

    All recommendations I get for books to read come either from Amazon recommendation emails (I get two or 3 of these every day), or from book lists in traditional media sources (e.g. Bill Gates Summer reading list). These days I’m not very interested in non fiction — I mostly read genre fiction.

    So this whole topic doesn’t really resonate with me

    • Lady Galaxy Says:

      When you look through the Amazon recommendations do some of the categories contains books that make you wonder why that book is in that category. I was just looking through recommendations in the Science and Math Category. Most of them related to either science or math or biographies of scientists or mathematicians. The ones that puzzled me were the adult coloring books. One was of birds and the other flowers, which I suppose were loosely related to science, but I’m not sure where Cabin Life fits in. The one that seemed the most out of place was “A Journey Through Charms and Defence Against the Dark Arts (Harry Potter: A Journey Through… Book 1).” And of course, out of all the books, that’s the only one I added to my Kindle Unlimited “wish” list because I’m currently all filled up. Since it has a lot of illustrations, I’m not sure how readable it will be on my Voyage but it should be OK on my Cloud reader.

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Lady!

        The publisher gets to choose the categories, and I’ve seen ones that are contradictory…I think I’ve seen the same book in fiction and nonfiction. It’s a marketing strategy…not a scientific one.

  2. Edward Boyhan Says:

    OTOH doing a longish form post every Wednesday is an excellent idea (thanks Lady Galaxy😊).

  3. Lady Galaxy Says:

    I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m a retired reading teacher. When I was teaching, I tried really hard to find just the right book to spark interest in a non reader. It was always so rewarding when I got it right. I frequently see former students when I’m out and about, and I love it when they tell me about favorite books they remember from my classes.

    It’s always disappointing when I get it wrong and find out the person didn’t like the book I recommended.

    When I was teaching at the HS, we had a bookshelf in the lounge that we used as our faculty lending library. We would bring in books after we’d finished reading them and put them on the shelf for other teachers to “borrow.” Most of us belonged to Book of the Month Club or Literary Guild or Mystery Guild. We sort of formed an informal book club at lunch when we’d talk about the books. It’s been 25 years since I moved from the HS to elementary, and 15 years since I retired from teaching, but second Tuesday of each month, l get together for lunch with my reading group from the HS and the topic of books generally comes up. One other person in the group has a Kindle. On several occasions we have used the “lending enabled” option to exchange Kindle books. I wish more books had that option.

    Celebrity recommendations really don’t interest me much. I quickly discovered that if Oprah liked a book chances are I would hate it. I’ve bought several books based on interviews with the author on talk shows.

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