Scott Woods Writes

Strictly process, strictly progress.

It’s Not You, It’s Me: The Agony of My Book Recommendations

chapsDue to the incalculable number of my artistic appetites, my not-short poetry career, the amount of time I spend berating writers for the dearth of reading dialogue on their social networks, and my day gig as a faux-librarian in the ‘hood (none of the degree, ALL of the work), I get a lot of requests for book recommendations. I enjoy the requests. Librarians generally call these transactions “readers advisory,” but don’t get me started on that. That they’re viewed as transactions is part of the problem, but then, that’s me getting started. In short, I like recommending books, but I love recommending the right book.


The only problem with asking me for a book recommendation is that I am a librarian to the core, on a phylum level. There is no straight line between your question and my answer. I am wired to interrogate your request. I sorely want to recommend a book you may enjoy. I have been on the losing end of a slight recommendation. It hurts me as much as it does you. So yes, I’m going to ask some follow-up questions. If you were six years old you would receive such interrogation.


I spent a day on Facebook a while back fielding requests in real time, asking people to submit scenarios that I would in turn recommend book titles for. “When you feel lonely and no one knows you’re alive, but you’re trying really hard not to do something stupid to show them you are.” (The Ignored, Bentley Little) “My co-workers have no idea how militant I am.” (Company Man, Brent Wade). And so on. That was a lot of fun, and I suspect that exchange will be offered again. It’s just about the only way I can recommend books without getting al in someone’s business.


This is all in aid of letting readers know that, from time to time, I will recommend books here. Reading is the judo of writing, and I have several black belts in it.


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This entry was posted on August 28, 2014 by in Uncategorized.

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