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General > Recommending tips and etiquette

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message 1: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (kristicasey) I've had a lot of friend requests lately, and many have said I'm interested in what you'd recommend. ???

I've never actually recommended a book. Do you guys do this? I mean I write reviews for the books I've read, but I don't officially send out a recommendation.

If you do recommend, how do you know who to send it to, or do you just send it to everyone? Wouldn't that sort of be like spamming?

Help!?


message 2: by Lee, Mod Mama (new)

Lee (leekat) | 3959 comments Mod
Hi Kristi, I rarely send actual recommendations unless I know the person or their reading taste quite well. I would never send a recommendation for one book to my entire friend list because everyone has such diverse interests.

I think the great thing about Goodreads is that people have the opportunity to read such a variety of opinions about each book and then decide for themselves if they want to give something a shot.


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

I recommend books once in a while, when I think the recipient would really enjoy a book. But, these are the people I've gotten to know fairly well. For new/casual friends, I think it's better just to share reviews, and thread comments. Tell people about what you are reading, and let them decide.

If you do want to use the "recommend" feature, it let's you select who to recommend a book to.


message 4: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) I occasionally recommend books to a friend or friends whose taste I think I know and if I think they'd like the books and might not easily find them without the alert a recommendation gives. I'm very discriminating about who to and what I recommend. I have friends who sometimes send me recommendations and 99% of the time I'm grateful to receive them. Many of my friends here know my tastes. We usually include a note with the recommendation about why we're sending the book recommendation.


message 5: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie I agree totally with Lee, Jeanette and Lisa. I consider it bad taste to send a recommendation to someone that I scarcely know. I only recommend a book if I believe the book fits well to that specific person.

I had one "GR friend" who was sending me book recommendations of books that were not at all what I enjoyed reading! Clearly this person was indiscriminately sending out recommendations. In fact I wrote her and told her to quit it!


message 6: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (kristicasey) Yea, I pretty much feel the same as you guys. I really don't want to send out recommendations, but when people say that to me and then I don't? Then, I feel bad.

I always wonder do they really expect me to, and now I haven't, so do they think me rude?

Sigh, I'll just keep trucking along with reviews and hope no one calls me out in a PM. ha ha!


message 7: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (kristicasey) Chrissie wrote: "I agree totally with Lee, Jeanette and Lisa. I consider it bad taste to send a recommendation to someone that I scarcely know. I only recommend a book if I believe the book fits well to that specif..."

Yep, that's exactly what I don't want to do, but I didn't keep track of those who made the comments. So in the end I'm just going to have to let someone down, bc I really don't want to offend people by "spamming".


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Next time you get a request like this, suggest they check out your bookshelves and your reviews. Then, you've responded without sending out a "blind" recommendation.

I have given recommendations to "strangers" in one of my groups, but it was in a thread that specifically asked for recommendations, so it turned into a group list, of sorts.


message 9: by Tracey (new)

Tracey (stewartry) The last time I recommended a book it was to someone I considered a friend beyond Goodreads who had very similar tastes to mine; he was reading a book similar to one I had just finished and really enjoyed, and I challenged him to read it. He did. He recruited another person as moral support. She finished first, hated it, and wrote a scathing review. Darn. Then he posted his review - he hated it too, which disappointed me, but chacun à son goût and all; then he summed up the review by basically saying anyone who liked this book was an idiot, and anyone who would recommend this book to him was the world's biggest moron.

I don't recommend books anymore.


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

Well, you found out what sort of friend he was (not). I always hate these kinds of incidents, because I have received recommendations from goodreads friends who know me well, and from people I've just met, too. Most of the time I have been pleasantly surprised, and sometimes I really didn't enjoy the book. But, I would never stoop to insulting someone whose tastes differ from mine. A big part of the appeal of goodreads is discovering new books! I'm sorry this person acted like such a jerk, Tracey.


message 11: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks Tracey wrote: "The last time I recommended a book it was to someone I considered a friend beyond Goodreads who had very similar tastes to mine; he was reading a book similar to one I had just finished and really ..."

Don't be discouraged by this. And I hope that this "person" is no longer a friend (someone like that, I would consider an enemy and an uneducated enemy at that). If I ever came across a scathing review like that written by one of my GR friends, I would no longer be friends with them in a heartbeat. People who write reviews that state that those who like a book they don't like are morons, jerks etc., well, I have no time for them (and that is putting it mildly).


message 12: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) Gundula wrote: "People who write reviews that state that those who like a book they don't like are morons, jerks etc., well, I have no time for them (and that is putting it mildly). "

Absolutely agree!


message 13: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Tracey wrote: "The last time I recommended a book it was to someone I considered a friend beyond Goodreads who had very similar tastes to mine; he was reading a book similar to one I had just finished and really ..."

That is unbelievanle! I hope you removed that person from your friends list.


message 14: by Kristi (last edited Feb 18, 2012 04:46PM) (new)

Kristi (kristicasey) Jeanette, great idea, thanks!

Tracey, that's horrible! You said you knew him beyond GR? Close enough to see him? Bc in my crazy world that deserves a smack! Go all Jerry Springer on his A! No, I'm kidding, don't hit anyone, that would be wrong. It'd probably feel great, but it would definitely be wrong. ;)


message 15: by Tracey (new)

Tracey (stewartry) Thanks, everyone - sorry to derail the conversation. No, I didn't know him in person, but I thought we were "real" friends, not just Goodreads friends. Silly me. And yes, my friends list got a lot shorter after that - because that review got a lot of "like"s, from mutual "friends" who had to know I'd recommended the book.

I guess the moral is that recommendations can be a minefield - Jeannette's idea is the best, I think.


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

The same thing happened to me once, but on a smaller scale. I had said in the thread how I had really enjoyed a film, adapted from a book, and someone I thought was at least a GR friend posted how s/he had heard the movie was "cr*p". This person hadn't even seen the film. Another GR friend posted right behind and seconded this opinion. How could they not realize how much they offended me, to my face?

Fortunately, 99.9% of my interactions on GR have been positive! Lots of terrific people, great book recs, even including those where we agree to disagree!

Here's to happier encounters in the future! :)


message 17: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) Jeannette wrote: "Fortunately, 99.9% of my interactions on GR have been positive! Lots of terrific people, great book recs, even including those where we agree to disagree!"

Me too. Given the millions of members, we're lucky most interactions are friendly, civil, and thoughtful. But most of those of us who've been around for a few years have had one or a few unpleasant interpersonal experiences. I'd still wager that this is one of the best sites for positive vs. negative experiences.


message 18: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (kristicasey) Tracey wrote: "Thanks, everyone - sorry to derail the conversation. No, I didn't know him in person, but I thought we were "real" friends, not just Goodreads friends. Silly me. And yes, my friends list got a l..."

Pshaw! No derailing here! I think what you said complimented the conversation very well. And as a cautionary tale, it definitely helped me.


message 19: by Ivan (last edited Feb 20, 2012 01:45AM) (new)

Ivan Tracey wrote: "The last time I recommended a book it was to someone I considered a friend beyond Goodreads who had very similar tastes to mine; he was reading a book similar to one I had just finished and really ..."

I can identify. I recently posted a review on Amazon of the film "Hugo" and was savaged by other reviewers. These were not friends, but it still took the starch out of my sails. They used words like idiot and stupid. Later I received a very nice post from someone who said she was proud that I didn't respond in kind. What is sad is that people can't simply be comfortable with their own opinions, but feel the need to validate them by tearing someone else down.

Good topic.


message 20: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Ivan, I LIKE GR because one can get completely different views of one and the same book. Why can't people let others think differently? The French have certainly said it perfectly: chacun à son goût! I have nothing against a discussion, but it should remain polite.


message 21: by Kristi (last edited Feb 20, 2012 03:14AM) (new)

Kristi (kristicasey) Ivan wrote: "What is sad is that people can't simply be comfortable with their own opinions, but feel the need to validate them by tearing someone else down."

Chrissie wrote: "I have nothing against a discussion, but it should remain polite."

You're both absolutely right. Sadly, people seem to think that a discussion is actually a persuasion, that you have to make the other person "come over" to your point of view. Even sadder is the people who won't stand out from those negative people to speak up for the one being thrashed for having a different opinion.

That's rotten that you had that happen Ivan. Don't let anyone take away your "wind". It's crappy at the time, but (personally) I will always refuse to conform to the naysayers. Mostly because I know it'll irritate the crap out of them. (ha ha)

I just tell myself they must be a person who has no say in life & feels the need to lash out online. (wink)


message 22: by Ivan (new)

Ivan What I find humorous is those who explain their view in numerous ways thinking you don’t agree because you didn’t understand; some will even talk louder in an effort to convince or persuade. You just want to say (and sometimes I do): “It’s not your communication skills I have a problem with, it’s the opinion you’re expressing. It’s not that I don’t understand, it’s that I don’t agree.” This is especially true when it comes to either politics or religion.


message 23: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (kristicasey) Oy! Touchy subjects both! I try to avoid those if at all possible.

But usually I know nothing I say will change their mind, so I just listen to what they have to say, and say "Hmmm" a lot. They won't be happy until they've said their fill, so I let them.

Then I walk away thinking, "Crazy people." No I'm kidding!


message 24: by Tim (new)

Tim | 127 comments I view recommendations based upon the people they're coming from. If it's someone I know, I'll at least take at look at the book page. If it's someone who knows me well (e.g., Gundula) I'll weigh that recommendation more heavily. I know that something Gundula recommends will at least be interesting, even if it's not something I normally would look at.

That said, I'll be honest in a review/rating of a book, but I keep it to the book, not to the people who read the book. I may think the book is horribly written, but others might love it. One book I'm currently reading is driving me batty. The overall story is interesting (and I love the narrator), but the author is trying to be too cute and the similes and metaphors are driving me nuts. I can see others who might like that affectation. To me it reads like they're trying to come up with clever turns of phrase and failing badly.


message 25: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (kristicasey) Tim wrote: "I view recommendations based upon the people they're coming from.

That said, I'll be honest in a review/rating of a book, but I keep it to the book, not to the people who read the book."


Well said Tim. I completely agree with honesty thing, and it being a matter of opinion. I, too, do honest without trying to be overly harsh. And when I do have to be negative, I limit where I'll post the reviews. I know authors work hard on their books, and I don't want to trash them to the world.

I'm thinking with all I've heard in the discussion that I'll just keep reviewing, and keep not sending out recommendations.


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