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 strikes 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 just want to be able to gush about what he/she feels like gushing about.
Do you disagree?