How to be Awesome at Giving Book Recommendations In Four Simple Steps

Posted by Margaret Dunham

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It can be really hard to get friends to want to read your favorite book. With these 4 steps, you’ll not only learn how to spin your favorite book, but also how to make genuine recommendations your friends will love!

1. Discover what they love about what they read. This one’s an easy first step because of one fact: everyone loves to talk about something they love. Try digging deeper than “What’s your favorite book?” and ask “What do you love about your favorite book?” instead. Did they love it for the setting? The character development? The narration style? Details like these can help you give better recommendations.

2. Study what they have already read. Does your friend love a specific genre? Find a book in that has some of the same tropes or themes and they might be more willing to try it. Do they love a specific author? Show them a book written by one of that author’s mentors or protégés. If you know what they generally read and have got a book you think they’d love, tell them why! Isolate what your book has in common with their interests and you’ve hit gold.

3. Remember/share what made you fall in love with the book. You know that rosey memory of the moment you knew you were in love with a book? That’s the memory to share. Yes that twist toward the middle and that big reveal at the end were great, but let your friend discover those on their own. No spoilers!

4. They might not like it – and you have to be ok with that. This one sometimes gets forgotten, but it’s crucial: not everyone is going to love the book you recommend, and that has to be ok.  

The important thing is not to let that discourage you! When you talk about the book they didn’t like, try to get a feel for what made it so tough to get into; this information is crucial to making better recommendations. Be nice about it! There’s no need to argue just because they didn’t enjoy a book. By telling you what they didn’t like about it, they’re helping you get a lot better at giving recommendations.  

Are you famous for being a great novel match-maker? What tips would you suggest on how to give great recommendations? Let us know in the comments!