I’m Sometimes Afraid When You Take My Suggestions.

Because, honestly, who am I to tell you what to read? We all have different likes and dislikes, so why should our tastes in books be any different?

I’m sometimes terrified when people say “I really wanted to read this, but thanks to your review I think I won’t waste my time”. It kills me. I feel like the whole world is on my shoulders because I discouraged you to read a book. Sure, it was a bad read for me, but what if it’s your next favourite book? I can barely make decisions for myself, let alone make a decision for someone else!

The other day, I recommended a book to Jennifer. This book is a five star read for me, and currently shelved as “favorites” on my Goodreads profile. Jennifer proceeded to read it, and she said she wasn’t that impressed… I felt mortified! I felt like I had basically made her waste her time. This is what I live in constant fear of.

What I guess I’m trying to say here is: don’t just rely on one person’s opinion. Try out a sample of the book, read tons of reviews, talk to people who’ve read the book, basically do everything you can to make an informed decision. It sounds like a lot of work, but I just don’t want your decision to be solely because of my review! I live in constant fear that someone is going to tell me: “because of you, I bought this book and HATED it. I’ll never visit your site again!”. Yeah, I’m being overdramatic, I know.

In hindsight, I actually do take blogger’s opinions in consideration when I want to buy or borrow a book, but in my case I read tons and tons of reviews before actually making a decision (which is why I take so long to buy books at bookstores…).

Have you ever made a recommendation and gotten a negative response? Let me know in the comments below! 

31 thoughts on “I’m Sometimes Afraid When You Take My Suggestions.

  1. Love this post! I’m the same way! When my friend asks me for recommendations, I get nervous. Because, what if she doesn’t like the book? But she once told me that she always appreciates recs, even if she doesn’t like the book. She loves suggestions. But I think we all have this fear, especially when someone tells us they won’t bother reading the book because they read your bad review on it. Sometimes I just want to shout at them: “No, try it! Who knows, you might like it!” It’s why I don’t read reviews until after I’m finished with a book. I don’t want to be swayed by someone else’s opinion.

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    1. That’s a good policy. I like reading reviews of books I want to read, good and bad, because I get a general sense of what I’d feel. However I get it that people have different tastes. That’s a great mindset your friend has! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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  2. I don’t think you should be scared of recommending books Marianne, because as you said everyone has different tastes, but once you discover someone with similar ones, then you’ll take their suggestion. I don’t think anyone takes recommendations just from anybody, so if they decide to follow your suggestions, most of the times, it will be because they’ve already discovered you share the same interests in book, therefore your suggestion would be safe. At least that’s how I do it.

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  3. Uh hello?! Yes. I feel the same way! The pressure! Gawd. I recommended On the Jellicoe Road to three of my cousins and only one of them fully appreciated how fucking awesome the book is! But to be honest, I don’t really care if it’s a family member who didn’t like a book I recc’d. It’s when bloggers, readers decide to read a book I gushed over that kills me.

    At the same time, you have to ask yourself this question: Why did you blog in the first place? Isn’t true that we wanted to spread the word about reading? So you know what I tell myself? Suck it up, Buttercup. 🙂

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  4. Oh, I know how this feels. I feel super bad when I negatively review a book and everyone’s like, “Welp, I’m skipping it.” OMG WHAT DID I JUST DO?!! At the same time, though, I love finding bloggers who’s reading tastes match mine like 90% and then I’m almost completely sure if I take their advice I won’t be sorry. 😉 But I totally get this!! It’s so hard!!

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  5. I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU MEAN. Reviews can be very insightful, but maybe check out more than one before deciding! I feel like people can miss out on a possible favorite if they don’t read it because of me. Then again, people do have their own opinions and I shouldn’t stop them from putting a book on a do-not-read pile if they deem my judgement right. 😛

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  6. I’m *always* afraid of this! Like, I’m super confident about sharing how much I loved a book until someone is like “Wow, I HAVE to read this now, your review convinced me, I’m going to pick it up right now” etc. And then I’m like “Well… ___ might not be for everyone” xD I just feel so bad if they don’t like it. On one hand, I feel awesome that they trusted me but on the other I wish they didn’t put all their faith on to one opinion xD Like you said, read multiple reviews. Great post 🙂

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  7. GAH. I know EXACTLY what you mean. I am the QUEEN of confidence when I’m writing a review. I loved a book, or I didn’t, and I know why, and, by golly, it’s my duty to share information with the masses, and then I get the first comment that says something, “This sounds great, I’m going to read it right NOW,” and I freeze. And then I think, “Oh, crap,” and I’m overwhelmed with self-doubt. WHY? I have no idea. BUT I’m glad I’m not the only one 😉

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  8. I totally feel this too! Especially with my negative reviews, I feel so bad whenever someone comments ‘this doesn’t sound good, I’m going to skip it’. At once, I want to be like ‘yeah it wasn’t great’ but I also want to be like ‘no, don’t just take my word for it because you might end up loving it!’. I know that negative reviews are intended to bring insight to the decision making of a reader but it makes me feel horrible whenever I see that my review could have potentially stopped someone from reading a book.

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    1. Hahaha you know my struggle. At least we give reasons as to why we disliked the book. If you just say “I hated it”, then I wouldn’t trust the review. As long as it’s insightful, I think it’s worth listening to. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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  9. This scares me as well, but I think it’s good to keep in mind that there had to be something in your review that resonated with the reader for them to declare that they won’t read it either. Often I read bad reviews for a book, but it doesn’t deter me completely from giving it a go. Only if there are certain themes/plots that I absolutely abhor, would I completely give it a miss. I think you’re doing a great job as long as you’re writing your reviews honestly, because no one can really ask for more than your honest reaction to a book. 🙂

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  10. I worry about this sometimes, too, but then I remember that I rarely base a reading decision on a single blog, and when I do, it’s because I’ve come to trust that blogger – to know that we have similar tastes. And before I read blogs, book discovery for me was often whatever caught my attention in the library or bookstore — and that could be pretty hit-or-miss, too. So I try to look at my reviews this way: They are my reaction to the book. Even though I try to be fairly objective when reviewing, it’s still my reaction. Anyone reading my review should be mature and savvy enough to understand that, and to take their own likes and dislikes into account when they decide whether to read the book or not, just as I do when I choose to read a book.

    So I think you can relax about it. People are responsible for their own decisions. You may influence them, but ultimately, they make their own choices.

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  11. This is one of the reasons I’ve just decided to no longer write traditional reviews and I’m no longer going to rate books. We all interact with books differently, and I felt like I was imposing my own unique experience with a book, unto my review readers. It just didn’t make sense to me to keep doing this, or fair to the book/author.

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  12. I am so in sync with you on this! I get paranoid when people leave those kinds of comments especially when I think that my own opinion is so vastly different then those that read mainstream ya, where I read half adult half ya.

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  13. I feel awful when people say that they’re discouraged from reading a book because of my review!
    Probably because I don’t let reviews affect me ALL that much. Sure, I like to read them and see what the person has to say but if I want to read a book, I’m gonna read it – even if my trusted bloggers all hated it. Like you said: we all have different tastes, right?
    But I get uber excited when someone wants to read a book because of me. I feel like my job has been done, haha. Of course, if they don’t like it, it’s unfortunate, but it was still their choice to read it, so I don”t feel bad, haha.

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