I’ve noticed something strange and bothersome about life.
No, its not the fact that Night Court never had a series finale (still mad about that). It is something far more sinister.
People are very, very wary of book recommendations.
I haven’t had this scientifically verified, but I am pretty sure my entire physical body is made of up of at least 89% book recommendations. The other 11% is Elton John songs. So you can imagine how frustrating it is to walk through life with all of these RECOMMENDATIONS and no one to share them with.
Just about three times a week I have a conversation that goes like this:
Other person that is not me: “I am so bored!”
Me: “You should read Steven Pressfield’s newest book. It has war and death and life meaning units and warm tingly feelings and I am pretty sure the key to your future. Its the best!”
Other person that is not me: “Hmm. I don’t like those things.”
“Also, every time you open it, candy shoots out from the page.”
“I’m fructose intolerant.”
“And it is the literary equivalent of Jesus.”
“Jesus owes me money.”
This happens to me so much I was forced to reevaluate my entire life. We are talking hair styles, posture, the city I live in. Because: why? Just why?
Approximately, two months ago I recommended a book to a friend. She acted like I was asking her to eat concrete. There were long discussions about how this book changed my life and my friend scoffed at it. “Sounds like a load of crock.”
I don’t know what crock is, but I think I would have noticed a load of it passing my field of vision during the reading of that book.
Anyway, months later, she ended up stumbling across the book, opening it—letting some distant memory of quality pass over her. Now LOVES it. She was gushing about it as if we had never spoken about it. I tried to politely remind her that I had recommended the book not so long ago. She ignored me.
WHY?? JUST WHY??
So I put my personal assistants on the task (Yahoo Questions) and also my brain (Yahoo Questions) and came up with four reasons people don’t like book recommendations:
1. DRUG FREE CAMPAIGNS FROM THE 1990’s
Here are the reasons (I believe) that no one takes book recommendations:
Drug free in ’93! Live more in ’94!
I blame the anti-drug campaigns of the 1990’s on the fact that people find book recommendations threatening. In fact, if you are offered something by anyone who you are not actually connected to by some vital organ, the auto response is:
“I say no to drugs!”
Why? Because obviously the books you recommend are the literary equivalent to heroin. Ain’t nobody got time fo dat.
2. FREE IS JUNK
Distantly related (by marriage) is the concept that people have grown to understand that free things (like advertisements and Costco samples) are junk. Just crap that fills people’s lives. This goes for your life lessons and any bit of advice or critiques you have for the person.
“You may want to remove that bear from your arm.”
“You don’t know me.”
3. THEY DON’T TRUST YOU
I have a theory. Either people
A) Like you, trust you and want to get to know you better
B) Think you are a completely ridiculous idiot whose only purpose is to illustrate a point to themselves that they are superior in every way.
If you don’t believe me then monitor your reactions to the following three pictures:
Did you feel an air of superiority just then? A little fluffy breeze? Lets continue:
People who don’t trust you are not necessarily curt or rude (who uses the word curt anymore?) They just hang around you because they have to, or you praise them a lot. But ultimately, they can’t wait to never see you again. Trust me on this one.
These types of people don’t really think you have much to offer to the world. You are only there to bask in their glow. They don’t think you will or ever have had something of any interest to offer them. Immediate rejection.
Hint: this is most people.
4. They Only Read Erotica, Science Fiction or The Backs of Cereal Boxes.
Some people just don’t like reading. I know, you almost can’t believe this. Every time I am reminded of this fact I remember that there are others out there who can’t fathom a person who doesn’t like or understand sports.
Which is you, right? Your the kind who says “I love the NBA! Especially the match when they won the touchdown and scored the Stanley Cup.”
But back to reading. Yes, there are a lot of people in this world who
a) Don’t like to read unless they have to
b) Dislike learning unless someone is prodding them with an electrical cable.
c) Really hate it when the above two are combined. Nigh unto death.
But there are some who like to read but not the same kind of books you do. I would have a hard time reading–say–the latest edition of Turbine Spikes for Press Release Industrialism.
Also, I don’t like crime thrillers. The answer is always the best friend did it. Always.
But yeah, taste can’t be legislated.
What to do if you really love a book?
There are a couple of books that changed everything for me. I won’t stop recommending them. I give them away. I leaflet them from the air. I get them tattooed on my body and then go to the doctor and complain about ignorance of the lower back. I DO WHAT IT TAKES!
No, the answer is to keep recommending. Someday your dad will read Harry Potter. Some. Day.
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