Book lenders & book bloggers ~ is this a recipe for disaster?

As I’ve mentioned in a few of my posts, I sometimes read books which have been loaned to me by friends/work colleagues & on occasion I have loaned or suggested books I have really loved to other people. So, what I was wondering was: Is it really possible to be someone who borrows & blogs about these borrowed books, to be objective about these books in their blogs? I always worry about whether I will enjoy the books I borrow & what I will say to the person I borrowed them from if I don’t. How do you successfully borrow, read, not really enjoy (or maybe enjoy but think the book could have been so much better), & blog about it without ending up in the ?

 

 

I recently loaned a book which I dearly love – a book which I have read more times than I care to remember – to someone & they hated it. I could tell that they were really worried about telling me, because they knew how much I had loved that book. I have to admit that I was saddened that they didn’t enjoy it like I had, but that’s life, right? What a horrible world it would be if we all read & enjoyed the same books!

So, how to deal with it when the shoe is on the other foot? Do I tell a little white lie & say I enjoyed it? If I did, it would mean not writing about that book here on my blog, because I want this to be an honest account of the books I have read. Or, do I be honest & say what I think both in person & on my blog, while risking really hurting someone’s feelings? OR do I go for the 2-pronged approach? Tell them it was ok, say a few things I did or didn’t like & do the same on the blog, thereby becoming a coward & taking the easy way out?

What’s a book blogger & a book borrower to do?

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7 Comments

Filed under postaweek2011, Relaxing reading

7 responses to “Book lenders & book bloggers ~ is this a recipe for disaster?

  1. Linda

    As a book blogger I think you should give your honest opinion….and that’s all it is at the end of the day…your opinion. As a book lender I also think everyone else will like my books but that’s not always the case as your review has pointed out. It’s all down to literary taste. I have a tendency to check out and read peoples reviews if I am buying anything, booking a holiday etc so why should it be any different with books…it may sway my opinion whether to read it or not but everyone will have a different opinion which makes it more interesting so keep up the good work and I promise not to inflict any more Dorothy Koomson on you lol.

  2. livingwithjoy

    I guess I don’t face this too often because I generally borrow books from the library and the library doesn’t take it too personally if I don’t like the book. I think I would be careful though if someone had recommended a book as a real favourite though. I wouldn’t change my opinion, but I probably would write it more gently!

  3. It depends on who you’re talking to. If a high school student tries to turn me on to something by, say, Stephanie Meyer, I wouldn’t want to turn them off of reading forever by giving a terrible review. But my Ian McEwan loving friends can stomach it if I say I found Solar a little over the top.

    The toughest group to read is the Chuck Palahniuk crowd; your enjoyment of his writing will go exactly as far as your tolerance for shock value as a literary device. Still, Palahniuk’s fans are a surprisingly sensitive bunch.

  4. livingwithjoy

    What have you been reading lately??

    • I wasn’t sure if this was for the post’s author or the general public, but I’ll jump at the chance to recommend:

      Home Land by Sam Lipsyte
      Harry, Revised by Mark Sarvas
      Room by Emma Donoghue.

      • Thanks for those, Pizza, I will definitely have a look at them! Keep the recommendations coming (especially if it’s a book for my Global Reading Challenge!)

    • Just finished a Jodi Picoult which was a Christmas present & am now reading Rabbit Proof Fence, which is my Global Reading Challenge choice for Australia. I’m alson iin the middle of writing a review about Faceless Killers, by Henning Mankell (which I loved!)

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