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Beyond the Lone Islands

Thursday, 13 May 2010

BTT: 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?

I would have to say both yes and no, to all three questions. Of course some of my book choices are influenced by friends and family. On the other hand, I may also be influenced by recommendations or reviews from complete strangers. How much weight a recommendation carries depends partly on who gives it, and partly on the impression I get from the presentation itself.

If a friend recommends a book, and I know that we often have similar taste, it is likely to make me curious. On the other hand, if I know that this friend and I usually don't like the same kind of books, I'll probably not go looking for it just because he or she mentioned it.

If the recommendation comes from a new friend, I might follow it up because I'm curious to learn what kind of books that person likes. 

If I hear a lot of opposite opinions about a book - and especially by people I know - that is also likely to make me curious and want to read it, to form my own opinion.

I usually don't force myself to read (or finish) a certain book if I don't feel particularly interested in it, unless there is some special reason to do so. (See last week's BTT post.)

To the BTT questions I will add one of my own:  
Is there a book or author you like that you would probably never have read if it hadn't been on recommendation by a friend or family member?

My own answer to that is Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. I probably would not have started reading those unless my brother had started lending them to me (as audio books) as he "discovered" and started collecting them. I had never heard of Pratchett until my brother lent me Guards! Guards!


Ginny said...

This Discworld looks quite unique. Reminds me a bit in theory of Flatlands. When friends recommend books to me, they usually tell me a bit about them, sometimes more than I wanted to know. So then I ususally have a pretty god idea of weather I want to buy it or not. I do rely heavily on written reviews from the paper.

Sandra said...

i agree with everything you said today and that is what i do when someone recomends a book. i have been loaned books that the friend says you have got to read this, I loved it and not been able to read it. it is hard to give it back and say I did not finish reading it, but that's what I do. I love mystery and action and good stories. i have a couple of friends that we all read similar, but even with them, we have different taste. what I can't put down until it is done, they don't really like. the only book I read that my son recommended was Odd Thomas and i liked it. not something i would have picked up.

GB said...

I'll go with what you say, Monica. I can relate to it all. Including the Discworld series. I would never have even contemplated that if CJ/Scriptor hadn't been such a fan.

rae said...

Guards! Guards! is next on my audiobook queue! I'm so excited to "read" it now (with your recommendation)!


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