This weekend I visited a terrific used book sale in my town. When I went on Friday, the place was packed: a whole lot of readers were crammed into one smallish room. It made browsing a little difficult, but it was mostly delightful, because you could hear your fellow readers oooing and ahhhing over the selections. Like when I spotted a Joshilyn Jackson hardcover I hadn’t yet read, in terrific condition, and I let out a little exclamation of delight before I could stop myself.
Many of the book sale volunteers are avid readers themselves, and several of them walked around the room, scanning the bookshelves and boxes, plucking their favorite titles from the stacks, and recommending them to whoever was nearby. Have you read this? They’d ask. No? You really should. This is a great book.
I attended this sale last year, and enthusiastically took home a new-to-me paperback after a book sale volunteer raved about it. It’s in my lifetime top 3, she said. Read it.
And I did. And guess what. I hated it.
Readers, the second category in the 2018 MMD Reading Challenge is “a book recommended by someone with great taste.” I’ve gotten lots of requests from readers wanting to know what that means, exactly.
Not every reader is alike, far from it. Not every reader enjoys the same books. But if you can find fellow readers who tend to enjoy the same sorts of books you do they can be a fount of solid recommendations, whether they’re in your neighborhood or book club or local bookstore or library or right here on the internet.
Every reader is different. This is why every week on my podcast What Should I Read Next? I don’t just make blanket book recommendations. First, I invite readers to tell me three books they love, one book they didn’t, and why. With that information in hand, I’m much more likely to recommend books that you will enjoy. And readers who are listening in will recognize themselves—or not—in each week’s guest, and are therefore much more likely themselves to add books they will truly enjoy to their TBR.*
This category is your invitation to pay attention to how you find the books you love, and to read something that source recommends. It’s an exercise in assessing what it is you enjoy, as a reader, and whose taste resembles yours. (Honestly, when I say a fellow reader has great taste, what I often mean is their taste is a lot like mine.)
Not sure what to read for this category? Check out this post where I ask 8 readers whose taste I admire to recommend a book they love. Check out these book flights and use a title that complements something you’ve already read and loved. Check out this big list of book lists and see what catches your eye.
Ask a friend the next time you have coffee, ask your coworker when you’re grabbing a snack. Pop into your local library or bookstore, tell a staff book-lover three books you love, and ask for recommendations on what to read next.
Reading is personal, and this is an especially personal category. I can’t wait to hear what YOU pick for it.
* TBR = To Be Read list. Mine is currently pushing 4 figures. You?
P.S. It’s not too late to sign up and get our fun Reading Challenge goodies. Do that right here. If you’re a challenge participant, we include those download links in every challenge email, so no worries if you’ve misplaced yours.