The 5 Types of Book Rec Givers

I’m always recommending books to friends, foes, and family. It’s how I compensate for my terrible small talk abilities. Instead of waxing poetic about the weather, I default to “Sooo… hey, I’ve been reading this book, and I think you’d really like it!” But let’s be real. I know I’m not the only one who does this. Just about anybody who reads (and a good number of people who don’t) will end up giving out book recs at one point or another.

The question is, what kind of book rec giver are you? As varied as the human experience is, so goes the many, many ways people give book recs. It’s a curiously personal thing, after all. You’re basically promising people that the dark scratches on a page will capture their imaginations in the same way it did to yours. I’ve managed to pinpoint a handful of these book rec giving styles:

The Bookworm: You’ve always got your nose buried in one book or another. Your love of reading cannot be contained, and it bubbles over in your book rec giving. Your joy is infectious. You might convince a few people to read your particular Book-of-the-Week, but only through sheer enthusiasm and force of will. Your book recs are more about you, than whoever you’re trying to convince — which isn’t a bad thing! You do you.

The Librarian: Maybe it’s your actual job, or maybe you just take book rec giving really seriously. Either way, you are kind, and you are thoughtful. You tailor your book recs to whoever you’re talking to, taking into account their personality and tastes. People are, as the Youth say, #blessed to encounter you. Others are more likely to come away with a book they’ll, like, actually read for real.

The Scholar: Books are, to you, for educational purposes. You read Serious (TM) works of non-fiction and heartrending treatises on the human condition. These books carry the weight of the world on their spines. You consider it your duty to persuade others to improve themselves as you do. You’re really Samuel Richardson-ing it up in here. No offense, but your book recs can be kind of boring. But when people want to learn something, they know who to ask for recs. That’s pretty cool.

The Hipster: Let’s face it. You’re kind of a snob. The books you read are obscure and experimental and kind of hard to get into. You consider your reading an art form. Accordingly, you start your book rec shpiel with “You probably haven’t heard of this, but…” No one really knows what you’re talking about when you bring up your favorite books. But, you’re good at finding that diamond in the rough and shining a light on books that would otherwise remain unknown forever.

The Bestie: After the Librarian, you’re probably the best person to go to for book recs. You consider reading a social experience, and want to read with your friends. To make that happen, you recommend books that you know your friends will like, or might be willing to try because of you. You’ve managed to convince more than a few people to try out books they’d never read normally through the power of friendship. You’re pretty awesome. Have you considered starting a book club?

So, what type of book rec giver are you? I like to think I’m the Bestie, but honestly, I’m probably the Bookworm. Is there a book rec giver type I’ve missed? Am I totally off the mark here? What do you think?

 

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Jessica Yang: Jessica grew up in Silicon Valley, yet somehow ended up rather inept at technology. She dreams of reading luxurious novels all day in a greenhouse, and is guilty of writing puns for money. Majoring in Japanese and English literature made her both wary and weary of the Western canon. She can be bribed with milk tea. Follow her on Twitter @aprication.