Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Quotable - I think you'll like this

"It can happen anywhere: a dinner table, a pub, a bus queue, a classroom, a bookshop. You have struck up a conversation with someone you don’t know, and you’re getting on OK, and then suddenly, without warning, you hear the five words that mean the relationship has no future beyond the time it takes to say them: “I think you’ll like it.” This phrase is presumptuous enough when used to refer to, say, a crisp flavour; if, however, you happen to be talking about books or films or music, then it is completely unforgivable, a social solecism on a par with bottom-pinching. You think I’ll like it, do you? Well, it has taken me over fifty years to get anywhere near an understanding of what I think I might like, and even then I get it wrong half the time, so what chance have you got? Every now and again I meet someone who is able to make shrewd and thoughtful recommendations within the first five years of our acquaintance, but for the most part, the people I listen to I’ve known for a couple of decades, a good chunk of which has been spent talking about the things we love and hate."

~ Nick Hornby from "My Waterstone's Writer's Table"

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Pam said...

Oh my gosh, I love that! Someone just emailed me the other day asking me to recommend a book for a gift she was giving. I was terrified.

Anonymous said...

I love this quote, and I keep his list! Hornby's list is the reason I finally read Random Family, and also The Accidental by Ali Smith, which was soooo good. *And* he's the reason I am reading Dickens this year.

phd in yogurtry said...

Tis true. The predicting of another's book liking is a fine art. But I have been very happy (mostly) with the choices others have come up with for me. So I don't want them to give up.

CherylK said...

I'm with Hornby (and phd in yogurty)...there's a fine line there when it comes to recommending books but I'd certainly never turn one down! You never know when you'll find a new love. By the way, love this blog!