An A-Read Dilemma

My big project at work is done and I’m finally back. It was awesome and I learned so much from the experience. I’m only not giving details to protect the privacy of my school and my students.

I have a long history of suggesting books I know A-Read will love and being right. So when I couldn’t get him past page 7 of another recommendation recently, I was devastated.

Based on my suggestion, he loved When You Reach Me, the Fablehaven series, The Graveyard Book, and countless others. So I handed him a fantasy full of adventure, mystery, and myths that I had just finished, convinced he’d love it as much as I did.

But…the day after he started the book, he received two other books for his birthday. A Minecraft fictionalization and the next book in a series he’s been wanting to read for a while but wasn’t available at our library (and we hadn’t yet gotten around to looking for it at our local indie). Despite how much I know he’ll love this book, it couldn’t compete.

Now, I have a rule about what books I read when. I always read library books before books I own because there’s a deadline involved. But I’m an adult who can rationalize and mostly do what’s right no matter how great the temptation. Apparently A-Read hasn’t matured to that point yet. He is only 11.

So, one night I went into his room to say goodnight and found him reading…the WRONG book.

Voice of Reason: That other book has to go back to the library soon.

A-Read: I didn’t really like it.

Voice of Rea–: What?! Why not?! How could you not like it?!


I discover he’s only on page 7.

Voice of Reason: You didn’t give it much of a chance.

A-Read: (shrugs) I just couldn’t get into it. Sorry.

I gave in. Of course. I can’t force him to read it. Even though a small part of me wanted to. I had no trouble being hooked by page 7. Again, I’m an adult. Big sigh. Instead, I told him maybe he wasn’t ready for it and we could try again in a year. (The main character was 13 and some of the action was pretty grown-up.) He looked relieved.

Now, I didn’t write this book I tried pushing on him. However, I loved it and just knew he would too. So I took his rejection personally.

Do you get that way over book recommendations? Do you feel rejected on behalf of the book if the person you’ve suggested it to won’t read it?

On the other side, Sprout never reads anything I suggest unless he already knows the book from his brother or his friends and has already decided to read it. He doesn’t let me influence him at all. I guess I take that a little personally, too.



Filed under Reading, The rest of my life

5 responses to “An A-Read Dilemma

  1. Gail Aldous

    Funny, it is the same with my two girls. I would read a library book, love it and recommend to #1 daughter. She’d say, ” I can’t I just starting reading” such and such, which was a bought book. I’d say, “Put that one down and read this one because I’ll have to return it.” She wouldn’t listen. Finally, when she got sick of this one series she started reading the books I thought were great books. Now, years later as a teen she always asks me, “Do you have any good books to recommend?”

    With my #2 daughter if I didn’t recommend a book with some kind of cat in it, she would not read it. Of course, she would read a book that her teacher suggested, which often turned out to be a book I had recommended. Then, around 13 she’d ask if I had a good book to read.

    Yes, I did feel rejected with the first daughter when she wouldn’t read a book I suggested, but now I know it is just a certain maturity level that they reach before they realize it’s okay to read books Mom suggests and Mom’s right that they are good books.

  2. Ha! You are so funny, voice of reason. No, that never happens around here. We all have very very different tastes in books and I know that going it. I do not like tear jerkers or books about farting… but what ya gonna do. 😉

    As a teen I read and finished everything, even if I hated it, I HAD to finish it because I really wanted to know why I hated it… that’s me.

    I cannot get my kids to do that. They read what they like, in the order they like and half the books they don’t finish for a variety of reasons. I like to see them read, even if it’s a magazine or graphic novel, I let it go. I will sit with them and debate why they didn’t like certain books though, but that’s just more the writer in me looking for a good story. And usually if they didn’t like it, I’ll read it… curious, I guess.

    Best of luck… adjusting.

  3. It’s tough when someone you’re sure will see what you saw in a book just doesn’t. (Even when it’s another adult.) I believe it shows how invested you are in reading, and the great value you place on being able to share that with your son. Good things!

    In a weird way, getting public reviews for my own work has helped lessen the pain of others not sharing my tastes a bit. You HAVE to disconnect and see the massive variance in appeal, etc. when you start getting reviewed or it will eat you alive. (It’s way more personal then. LOL) I think I began to see every reader (even my wife who reads almost all of the same things I do) as a stranger just as some form of psychological protection. 😀

    Then again, he could just be entering the phase of his life when nothing his mom recommends is cool. But I won’t throw more fuel on that fire. Maybe I just did. 😉

  4. denizb33

    I do feel rejected. I know it’s not right, but still… On the other hand, I’m not usual a fan of books that other people recommend, so…
    But maybe you’re right, maybe it’s just not the right time for that particular book, and he’ll return to it later.

  5. Yes I take it personally when my kids don’t love a book I love. my horse loving daughter still continually rejects the Black Stallion series and I just don’t get it!!! Now I am afraid to even suggest My Friend Flicka, because that is My ABSOLUTE FAVORITE. But she loves all other horse books…

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