My brother asked an excellent question in the comments of my last post and since I’m trying to post close to every day, I thought I would respond in a new post.
“Some say you HAVE to read a book, because it’s excellent… but DO you have to read it? If instead you keep reading other excellent books instead, and you never read that book in your life, have you actually lost anything?”
Well, you’re asking a couple of different questions there. If you just look at what you’re reading, no, you haven’t lost anything. But on the social side, you are losing out on the possibility of a shared experience and good conversation. There are some people who recommend books to me that I don’t see very often. I usually file those away in the back of my brain and it’s only a little more likely that I will pick it up than if I just saw it at the store. On the other hand, when people I see regularly and talk about books regularly give me a recommendation, I really attempt to remember it. If they shove it into my hands, I will put it in my TBR pile and the guilt will poke me for not reading it until I finally break down and read it. Which, as you know, may be a while.
I used to read three or four books at once, now it’s more like one or two. And one of those books is usually a book for school. I have, in the past, started a book, not been thrilled and kept trying to plug through it hoping that it will get better any second now. Which they usually do, especially if I have it off the recommendation of someone. But I’ve learned that it’s usually better to put that book aside, read something that I’m excited about, and then pick it up later. This provides a much more satisfying reading experience and I still eventually read the book I set aside.
The last, actually first, part of your question was a question of necessity. Do I have to read it? Of course not. I don’t have to do anything. :P But the more a person raves about a book, the more they try to give it to me, the more likely I am to take it and read it.
So what about you? (That is the plural you, and not the singular I’ve been using to answer my brother!)