Whenever I try a new coffee shop or restaurant, I always ask the barista or waitress/waiter what they recommend. Most of the time, the restaurant staff always has something on the tip of their tongue (no pun intended). But whenever I ask the baristas, they always put the question back on me. I don’t like that. If I knew what I wanted, I wouldn’t have asked.
Coffee is a very personal thing. The taste, roast, sweet, unsweet, etc… And maybe that’s why they turn the question back on me, but I’m asking for a reason.
Reading is very personal too. I’ve been at conferences where readers have asked what books my fellow authors and I, which of our books we’d recommend.
Being that reading is so personal, we do out the question back on them, as the reader. I write mainly contemporary so if you only read paranormal, then I won’t have much you want, unless you’re looking for something new and different.
I always get a little flustered talking to people I don’t know, even and sometimes especially, about my books. But I have been around some authors who are incredible at it. They do you, always put it back to the reader with “what do you like to read?”
I guess, in thinking about this, I can understand why a barista would put it back on me, for me to tell them what I like and what I don’t… I’ll try to be more aware of this next time I go into a new coffee shop, but when I ask, I really do want to know what their favorite is, whether I’d like it or not.
What about you? Do you really want to know what someone would recommend, or do you just want to be helped to a decision of what you might like?
I love recommendations but I’d also loved to be helped to a decision if I’m looking for something more specific.
interesting – I think for me, I ask for recommendations because there are literally thousands of books published every month, its like searching for a needle in the haystack to find an awesome one. But I typically caveat my requests with, I’m a bit burnt out on (insert genre), so you have any recommendations that are (insert genre), or have you read any good contemp romance lately…stuff like that
or I really liked (insert series), do you have any similar recommendations for me – because i think it helps my recommender to tailor their recommendations a bit
I like recommendations when I ask for them. Sometimes I know what I want. Sometimes I have no earthly idea.
For food/coffee: I usually ask if I don’t know what I want, or the place is new to me, or the menu confusing. I don’t do well making decisions that way, hehe.
For books: I am an eclectic reader. I like variety, and I tend to read FAST. I’ll read everywhere. While cooking, while waiting in line at the store, while taking a walk. Plus the usual places. When I ask for recommendations on books, I seriously would love to hear some. Will I love all the books? Probably not. But at least I might get more options, or be led to more options from those books/authors/subgenres.
For books I like reccomendations as I tend to give them. If you like paranormal, you should read X. If you like snarky/humor, read Y. If you like sweet romance, read Z. If you like angsty, read Q. THis way it gives the asker a little bit of info about what you are recommending, and helps them decide if they want to read it. I think the same goes with food.