The cutest thing happened to me last week: A guy I went on a date with texted me a picture of a library book. I had recommended the book to him on our date, and he had checked it out. I liked this dude a lot already, but after I saw that picture, I couldn't stop beaming.
Anyone who has talked to me for more than a two seconds knows that I love telling people what to read. (I write about books, so this should not be surprising.) You've got a problem? I've got a book that will solve it.
Yet for all the book recommendations I give daily, I feel like very few people actually end up reading the book I've told them about. I get it. We're all in the same boat, fighting a losing battle against our ever-expanding TBR lists. So here's a rule I try to live by: When someone recommends a book to me, I try my best to read it, because if someone takes the time to share something they love with you, it can make a huge difference in both of your lives to actually read it.
First of all, when you read a book someone recommended to you, it is a clear sign that you were listening to them, and that you value their opinion. Not only did you trust their judgement, but if you read the book right away, it shows that you prioritized their rec over the other books in your TBR pile. And let's be real: doesn't it feel great to be trusted? The second somebody takes you up on a book recommendation, the bond between the two of you gets just a little bit stronger.
Of course, you have to set boundaries: Sometimes you have other work, sometimes you want to read something else. But reading that book your friend show you value their opinion and want to bond with them over something that was meaningful to them.
For me, recommending a book to someone feels like giving them a gift. (Even if I'm not actually handing them a copy of the book.) By introducing to them this piece of art that I've loved, I'm hoping that they will find something special for them within it. No amount of flowers or jewelry can bring on the same joy as discovering a writer that speaks to you. So, when somebody takes me up on my recommendation, it feels like they've accepted that gift. Trading book recommendations is, in my eyes, an act of kindness and a form of caring for one another.
One of the most magical things about books, for me, is how they bring people together. That's why I'll always be the first person to give you a book recommendation. When I recommend a book to you, I truly want to know your thoughts about it. So, if you actually pick up that book I recommended to you, you'll definitely make my heart sing. And when you recommend a book to me, I'll try to do the same in return.