I’ve recently seen someone give another person book recommendations but they did it completely wrong. Book recommendations should not be about what the person giving recommendations likes or which genre they like the most: it should be about the person asking for the recommendation.
Here are a few tips on how to give recommendations the right way:
- If the person asking for suggestions asks for a certain genre that you don’t read: ask someone else for help. It is not wrong to tell them you do not read that genre and you can’t help them.
- If you don’t know anyone that does read the genre, you can do some research on it. Goodreads has great recommendations for every genre.
- If someone asks for a genre that you like, include books that you think they would like- even if you didn’t like it.
- You never know what they will like, so list popular books in the genres that they mentioned.
- If you didn’t like the book- tell them why without giving anything away. (If you didn’t like a book because the chapters were 20 pages long- tell them that. They may be able to get past it even if it annoyed you.)
- If you really love a book- tell them why without giving anything away. (If you loved the book because it was fast paced and emotionally gripping- tell them that.)
- If someone says they like a genre that is part of both YA and not YA, mention a few books from both. (For example, if someone asks for mystery but don’t specify YA or not YA- list a few books from both types of genres.)
- Which leads me back to, if you don’t read the genre- do research before giving recommendations or ask someone for help.
I think we all want everyone we know to be avid readers like we are, but they can only be that if they are given the right books. Obviously the rules change if you know the person well enough to know what they would like or wouldn’t like, but this is for if someone asks on Twitter, Tumblr, Goodreads, or anywhere else.