Here’s a post at Book Riot that caught my eye:
That seems harsh. I mean, realistic, but still harsh. Let’s look at the context:
… small talk plus a reading hobby equals the inevitable question, “got any book recommendations for me?” or “read anything good lately?” And it’s meant well. It’s a natural progression of the topic of conversation. But, I can’t be the only one who dreads questions like that, can I?
Well, “dread” seems like a strong word. This looks to me like an invitation to continue the small-talk-getting-acquainted thing by saying, “Well, I don’t know, what do you like?” or “I read mostly fantasy and mysteries and romances, do you read any of those?” or, “Sure, I’ve got ten thousand recommendations — what’s a book you recently loved?”
If the person turns out to like fantasy and romances, there you go, recommend Sharon Shinn or whoever leaps to mind for that sort of story. If the person turns out to like only nonfiction, maybe you also like that nonfiction topic and can spend the next hour talking about, I don’t know, the Indus River civilization or whatever.
The worst that can happen is that the person tells you in detail about the plot of a book you hated, but whatever, this is small talk, just nod and smile and murmur politely and after a decent interval, shift the topic to work or hobbies or (generally my choice when possible) pets. Practically everyone with a pet is happy to talk about the pet.
Anyway, this post then goes on:
First, I’m one of those “bad” readers who can’t remember books after I finish them. Like, seriously! In my brain and immediately out. I can remember titles, usually, but there are countless books on my Goodreads that I can’t remember a single detail from. On many occasions, I read a book for a second time without realizing I had already read it.
And I skidded to a halt.
Okay. Does anyone here have that happen? I mean, not a book you read 30 years ago and now you don’t remember anything except a vague impression that the protagonist was a thief and that the cover was blue. I mean, books you read, say, this past July. In your brain and immediately out. No memory of the book. Yes?
Because, no. This is one of those areas of human experience that I trip over and think, Seriously?
I stalled out at this point in the linked post and just thought about being an avid reader / who does not remember anything at all about a book immediately after having read it. I’m having trouble believing in this. Not that I don’t believe the author of this post. I’m just having trouble believing in it.
Anyway, that stopped me.
As far as book recommendations go, that does happen on Quora. Can you recommend a good book? What books do you recommend? Lots of people answer those questions. While it’s fine to talk up a book you love to random strangers, it does seem more practical to ask in return, What books do you already know you like?