Random Musings

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Random Musings

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març 1, 2008, 8:04am

Random musings. . .

After reading and reviewing a few books that were chosen for me by members of this group, I'm here to say that it's an awful lot of fun to post your review and then keep checking back to see what your next book will be. Sometimes it takes a couple of days, and the suspense can be nearly unbearable - and then there are times when I practically forget that I might have an "assignment" waiting for me here.

I always want to thank the "chooser" for selecting a book for me, but don't want to disrupt the game thread with those thank yous. I feel like there's at least a couple of posts worth of conversation surrounding the "pick-" ie "ooh, I'm really happy you picked that, I was thinking of choosing it next myself" then "I'm so happy I chose one you really wanted. I chose it because I wish it were in my tbr pile. I've read lot's of books by this author but never this one. . "
which would lead to "didn't you just love "My Life?" I thought that. . . " or "really? I've never heard of this author. What should I look for in this read?" etc etc. . you get the drift. I think it would make for an interesting thread -- The Book You Chose for Me -- or something. . .

The last few books chosen for me - the last 5, actually, when I go back and count - have all been among the newest additions to my library. Today, for example, I was "assigned" Pillars of the Earth, which I added to my library just yesterday. Each of the 5 books before that had only been logged for a day or two before they got picked for me, too. To me, that seems just so unlikely! What I also find surprising is that each time it happens, I feel *just a little* disappointed at the choice -- it's so new to me that it doesn't have so much "obligation" attached to its tbr-ness, or something. I'm betting I'm not the only one who sees this group as a great way to *finally* get to some of those books at the bottom of the tbr mountain - and here I am, shaving off the top of it! OF COURSE that's perfectly fine - I need to read the new books just as much as I need to read the old books (that attitude, after all, puts it among the books that it would have taken me the longest to get to if left to my own devices)-- just one of those weird mind tricks one plays on oneself, I think.

I'm curious as to what people look for when they browse another's shelves in search of a book to assign. How attached are you to the choice? Is it a heavy responsibility, or do you take it fairly lightly? Do you look for books that YOU want to read, do you choose books that you've already read and think others should, too? Do you try to find something that's a little different from the bulk of their library, hoping to be the catalyst for a new direction -- or do you do just the opposite, and find something very similar to the books they've already read? Does the vein of the library influence your decision at all -- ie if the library is all historical romance, and you read only scifi - how do you choose? Have you ever bought/mooched etc a book because you found it in someone's library here, or because of a review here, that piqued your interest?

Speaking of reviews -- how important is it to you to go back and read the reviews of the books you've chosen for others? To me, it's an obligation and only polite - you've asked someone to write this thing so the least you can do is read it. I also "thumbs-up" the reviews written at my request, and many of the other reviews written because of this thread, as well, and I wonder what others think of that. My last review, for example, was very difficult for me to write, and I don't feel like I wrote anything stellar, certainly nothing as helpful or intelligent as many of the other reviews for this book. Do you feel somehow cheated if someone writes a crappy review of a book you asked them to read?

I could go on, these early morning snow storms make me pensive, but I'm sure this is long enough. I'm dying to see what others think of these things.


març 1, 2008, 8:44am

Each of the 5 books before that had only been logged for a day or two before they got picked for me, too.

This happens to me too! Although usually a week or two, not a day... but still. I agree wholeheartedly with everything you said in that paragraph... especially about shaving off the top of the mountain! Maybe that'll be how I pick my next book for someone else... look at date entered and pick the oldest.

I am not methodical at all about how I pick for someone else, usually it's whatever catches my eye. Generally I look at the ones we share, and if there's something I love that they haven't read, I'll ding that one. Otherwise, I just go for something from their TBR pile that looks interesting, not necessarily something I'd buy but usually something at least close to my own interests.

I read all of the reviews that I selected, and ~75% of other reviews on the thread, but I don't feel obligated to thumb them. I usually do, especially if they're well written and especially especially if they make me want to check out the book further - which is the same criteria I use for thumbing elsewhere.

març 1, 2008, 3:45pm

What seems really strange to me is that two of the books that were picked for me were the very ones I was thinking "Oh, I hope this one gets picked for me next"--when they were, it was too weird!

I tagged books tbr that I wanted to review but that also had no reviews or only one or two--and I try to choose books for other people that also have no reviews--I feel like it's doing the LT community more of a service that way--after all, who needs another review of Pride and Prejudice? But The Vision of Stephen, well, that's just a great book that more people ought to know about, and if someone comes across it and it actually has a review, they might be more inclined to give it a try.

I read all the reviews on the thread, but I only thumb them if I think they're good--fortunately, most of them are! And I really feel pathetically grateful when someone thumbs one of my reviews...

març 1, 2008, 4:25pm

Isn't that funny -- both of the books picked for me have been in my library for years. In fact, I didn't even realize I owned The Blue Flower, I couldn't remember ever having read it, and I had to dig around for quite a while before I located it (though I must have handled it within the last year or so, because it was in my LT catalog.)

Maybe that's because I don't have a TBR pile or a related tag, so my whole library is fair game. When I choose for others, I don't have much of a system -- usually I'll look at the tags or authors and pick something that I read and liked, or that I'm curious about myself. I try to read reviews of books I've recommended, and I read others sporadically, but not all the ones on the thread.

març 5, 2008, 1:48am

I feel the same way. The anticipation of what the next poster will choose for me is unbearable--mostly because I like seeing what catches other people's eyes.

For me, I go through and read each review that's posted. I thumb them if the review is well-written, even if I wouldn't want to read it. But most of the time, the choices for the books are good and the reviews come out very interesting.

març 5, 2008, 3:34pm

Sometimes I'll see a book picked for someone else and think "I have that book -- I wish someone would pick it for me!" I always have two books (upstairs book and downstairs book, one that you all choose for me and one that I choose for myself) going at a time, so it's not like I CAN'T read it.

març 5, 2008, 3:38pm

>6 ireed110: I do that too! Actually, I tend to read a book of my own choosing in between GRTB picks (when there's lag in between finishing a book and someone picking my next one for me), so when I get my pick, if I find myself going "Man, I wish they'd picked ______", then I know what I'm reading next. :)