There are few things more dangerous than giving someone your favorite book. I don’t mean a book you like. I mean, your favorite book. The story that means the world to you. The one you go to when life is hard or when you simply want peace with the world. The book that maybe just changed your life. That book.
It is dangerous and it is down right vulnerable. By sharing the story, you are opening yourself up. Of course, this isn’t going to be the case with every book you lend out or suggest, but in some cases, it just is. Five years down the road the story might not mean as much to you, but in the moment, that book is something special.
I used to think that the giving of the book was the bigger deal. After all, you’re the one going out on a limb here. However, I’m starting to think it can be just as difficult receiving a well cherished book. In fact, I’m convinced of it. There are so many nuances to the situation. What if you hate it? Do you tell them that? What if you find it mediocre? Will it affect a newly fledgling friendship? Should you be conciliatory, and if so, how far? You can’t really praise it to their face and bash it on Goodreads. Especially if they are friends with you on Goodreads.
These things are especially on my mind tonight because a friend gave me her Absolute Favorite Book Of All Time To Read and I’m starting to wish she hadn’t. There is a love triangle. And insta-love. And mooning. And angst. Basically, it is stereotypical Young Adult and if I had gotten this from the library I wouldn’t go any farther. But I will finish it. I’ll read the sequel too, since she gave it to me. However, I can’t say I’m enjoying this one yet and all my hopes are basically pinned on the last half suddenly becoming amazing. Because if not…I’m going to have to walk the fine line of critiquing without offending. And really, who can do that well?