Have you ever been recommended a book you really don't want to read? Working in a library, especially a small town library, I encounter this situation all the time. I never knew how to handle this situation until recently (keep reading to hear my fantabulous new response).
I love my patrons, really, I do. They bring me cakes and gourmet chocolates and knit me scarves and buy me Christmas presents. They totally rock. They're so nice and I really love spending time with them. They'll come in all excited over the latest book they just read and I get excited with them because I'm happy they're happy.
(I'm working on these chocolates right now from the incredible Mrs. S.)
But then the dreaded recommendation comes. The, "You just have to read this book!" Usually I respond with something along the lines of, "Gee, thanks! I'll add it to my TBR" when really in my head I'm thinking something more like this:
"I am so never reading that book."
Why don't I just stand my ground and tell them thank you but the book isn't for me? Well, frankly, because I'm a wimp. I'm shy and a pushover and I don't like confrontation. Plus, how do you say no when they bring cookies?
This response usually works at avoiding immediate awkwardness, even if I do sort of feel a little skuzzy for my white lies. It works, that is, until they start following up. They'll come back a week, a month, a few months later and ask me if I've read the book yet. And then they'll ask me again. And then again. After a while, the "Really, I just have a very long TBR" excuse starts looking a little thin (although, really, I do have a very long TBR....their book just isn't on it).
But now, I have a super fantastic amazingly fabulous response that totally gets me off the hook while allowing me to both glide away from confrontation while also telling the truth. What is this response? Here it is folks:
"I write young adult book reviews so I'm really swamped with that at the moment. I actually don't even have time to read any books that aren't YA."
(Have I mentioned yet that I am a huge Star Trek nerd? I don't dress up or anything though. Really.)
Ta da! The beauty of this response is that it's totally the truth, but it's vague enough that it allows each person to project their own feelings into my statement.
- Some people are impressed. OOooh I'm a snazzy book reviewer (they think I'm getting paid! Ha!)
- Some people feel sorry for me. Oh look, the poor adult who has to read all those kiddie books (little do they know!)
- Some people are excited because it turns out that they love YA books too (these people are awesome)
But everyone, regardless of what they think about YA, totally accept my response and don't try to push their books on me. Unless they are one of those people who fall into the last category. Then they actually do help my TBR grow and I actually do have every intention of reading their recommendations.
Ah, I can now breathe a sigh of relief.
How about you? Do you ever encounter the "Oh please don't recommend that book to me" situation? How do you handle it? Are you braver than me? What was a book recommended to you that you would least like to read? Tweet