Seidel’s Views on Recommending Books

Matt Seidel of The Millions experiences very humorous neuroses about recommending books to others (explored in the piece “Let Me Think About It: On Recommending Books”). While the question doesn’t make my palms sweat half as much, I agree that it can make the seemingly innocuous social interaction get uncomfortable and weird very fast.

When certain people routinely press books on me, it┬ástrikes a distrustful note in me. Why do I have to read what you have read? Do you honestly think I would like it, or are you just narcissistically projecting your taste on me? Is that too harsh to think? If a repeat offender isn’t careful, it can stop seeming like the person is full of suggestions for your particular, idiosyncratic enjoyment. Your buddy may┬ájust want to be able to gush about what he/she feels like gushing about.

Do you disagree?


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