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  #1  
Old 04-13-2012, 03:18 PM
AndyLee AndyLee is offline
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How To Tell A Coworker Her Books Suck

I have been reading a lot. I work a part time job and there is a nice co-worker and she reads a lot. She likes to "share" her books with me. OK she's trying to be nice but her books suck.

Well they don't suck but I don't like them. For example she loved "The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo." I read it and it is horrible. It's long, it's too detailed, it's boring.

I don't understand why it's considered so good. But if you like it fine, everyone has taste. And that's just one example. She loves to read and obviously is trying to be nice and share her love of reading with me, but I want to go to the library and pick my own books out.

If I had money I'd get an e-reader just to prevent her from giving me the books she buys to read.

So how do you nicely tell someone, thanks for the books suggestions but basically our tastes differ too much.
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  #2  
Old 04-13-2012, 03:20 PM
Alice The Goon Alice The Goon is offline
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Just say that- thanks for the suggestions, but our tastes differ too much. Big smile, shrug, the end.
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  #3  
Old 04-13-2012, 03:20 PM
Hello Again Hello Again is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyLee View Post
So how do you nicely tell someone, thanks for the books suggestions but basically our tastes differ too much.
"I'm not a huge fan of [genre/author], but thanks for the suggestion. I'll keep it in mind if I ever want to read a [that type of book]"
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  #4  
Old 04-13-2012, 03:22 PM
Kimmy_Gibbler Kimmy_Gibbler is offline
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Yowza! What a vexing dilemma! If only you could say something like, "Sarah, it sounds like a fun read, but there are a few books on my list that I hope to get through this summer. If I borrowed your book, I don't know when I'd get to it! I'd hate to lose track of it or anything. Can I get back to you on it?" (and then never bring it up).

Or, "Sounds like a neat read." Then leave it in your car for three weeks and return it to her unread. "What a gripping novel that was!"
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  #5  
Old 04-13-2012, 03:23 PM
Sicks Ate Sicks Ate is offline
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Just curious, AndyLee, what you enjoy reading?

I would take a tack along the lines of 'Thanks so much for thinking of me, by my reading backlog is already so long I can't imagine where I'd fit it in!'
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  #6  
Old 04-13-2012, 03:29 PM
Duckster Duckster is offline
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Originally Posted by AndyLee View Post
Well they don't suck but I don't like them. For example she loved "The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo." I read it and it is horrible. It's long, it's too detailed, it's boring.
I'll save you some time and money. Don't watch the movie, either. The English or the original Swedish versions. Both are long and detailed.
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  #7  
Old 04-13-2012, 04:11 PM
Encinitas Encinitas is offline
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How To Tell A Coworker Her Books Suck

Oh my! I thought this was one of Eve's co-workers posting.
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  #8  
Old 04-13-2012, 04:26 PM
Vinyl Turnip Vinyl Turnip is online now
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You have a nice co-worker who reads? O odious tribulation!
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  #9  
Old 04-13-2012, 04:28 PM
FlyByNight512 FlyByNight512 is offline
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I like the 'Thanks, but my reading list is already a mile long, I don't want to add to it right now' response. Your coworker is probably doing this in an attempt to be friendly - it may soften the blow (so to speak) if you can find other mutual interests to discuss.
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  #10  
Old 04-13-2012, 04:50 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is online now
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The question perhaps should be "Why to tell a coworker her books suck?"
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  #11  
Old 04-13-2012, 05:00 PM
Deegeea Deegeea is offline
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Tell her about the books you liked & offer to share one. She might be continuing to try in order to get you to reciprocate maybe?

Or, be honest but tactful, and instead of saying it sucked, say it wasn't the kind of thing you enjoy to read, but you really appreciated the thought. Then explain to her what you like and maybe she'll start recommending books you actually do like =D

In my case, I always ask people what they like to get an idea of what to recommend. Blind recommending is rarely successful, especially with people who don't like everything super popular (which you already fall into by not liking that Stieg Larssen book. I didn't like it either. But we seem to be the minority!)
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  #12  
Old 04-13-2012, 06:25 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
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"No thanks; I just discovered Twitter and now I don't have any free time for anything else."

...I really don't have anything else to add, because if it were me, I'd probably just take the approach of saying "no thanks, I'm not really interested. Why? Because it doesn't sound like I'd like it, that's why." I'm not really a nice person.

I certainly woudn't borrow the book, not read it, and then lie about it. That's just begging for trouble!
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  #13  
Old 04-13-2012, 08:37 PM
6ImpossibleThingsB4Breakfast 6ImpossibleThingsB4Breakfast is offline
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Just take the stack and fling each one aside with, "Reddit..reddit..hated it..burned it..thanks!"
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Last edited by 6ImpossibleThingsB4Breakfast; 04-13-2012 at 08:38 PM..
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  #14  
Old 04-13-2012, 10:26 PM
Simplicio Simplicio is offline
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"I'm illiterate, I just carry these books around to hide it."
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  #15  
Old 04-13-2012, 11:44 PM
Woodenspoon Woodenspoon is offline
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procrastinate, by reading her suggestions and giving feedback you've been encouraging her.

if she just knows you can't be bothered she'll stop
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  #16  
Old 04-14-2012, 12:05 AM
Boyo Jim Boyo Jim is offline
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Maybe she thinks, from her experience conversing with you or watching you work, that you're a narrow minded provincial oaf whose mind needs expansion and improvement.

So ask her, "Do you think I'n a narrow minded provincial oaf whose mind needs expansion and improvement?"

Wing it from there.
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  #17  
Old 04-14-2012, 03:02 AM
Craz3d117 Craz3d117 is offline
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"Eh, it's not really my style, but I can see why you'd like it"
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  #18  
Old 04-14-2012, 04:29 AM
don't ask don't ask is offline
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"Thanks for thinking of me but I wouldn't read shit like that for a bet. Maybe you've got a good book on communication skills?"
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  #19  
Old 04-14-2012, 04:41 AM
Nava Nava is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyLee View Post
So how do you nicely tell someone, thanks for the books suggestions but basically our tastes differ too much.
I had a very nice boss who was into science fiction and fantasy, as am I. He'd been reading a new series (new for him, that is) and loved it; he offered to loan me the first book, as the name wasn't familiar.

Turns out I'd read it and hated it; I hadn't recognized the name because I'd read it in English and the Spanish name is unrelated (the boss had the Spanish version). Once I recognized it after checking out the information on the cover and reading the first page, I handed it back to him saying "ah, thanks, I've actually read it and it's not really my style". We talked about it for a while, I explained I like more "direct" writing and refrained from giving a more explicit explanation, and we went our merry ways.

We later shared other books which were better received, but I knew he liked them convoluted and he knew if I want unclear speeches, I call my mother.

The book in question was the first one of the Hyperion series - it's won a bunch of awards but I just can't stand it.

Last edited by Nava; 04-14-2012 at 04:44 AM..
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  #20  
Old 04-14-2012, 04:58 AM
CairoCarol CairoCarol is offline
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Originally Posted by AndyLee View Post
she loved "The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo." I read it and it is horrible. It's long, it's too detailed, it's boring.
Since your question is well answered upthread, let me do a small hijack and say what heartfelt agreement I have with the part of your statement that I've bolded. My bookclub read this book, and since I couldn't attend the meeting, I wrote an e-mail to share at the gathering:

Quote:
Originally Posted by CairoCarol feeling somewhat annoyed
I found the writer's attention to trivial detail very distracting. For example, if he talked about a trip to the grocery store, he wouldn't just say something that moved the plot/characterization along, such as "he debated whether to get the economy size milk, since it was much cheaper, but settled on the smaller size since he knew he could never drink that much milk by himself before it went bad." That would tell you that the character is on a budget and lives alone.

But Laarson would write a scene like that this way: "He debated whether to get the economy size milk. It had a red label on it and a cap that was easy to twist off. The economy size was 4.5 liters. The smaller size was 1 liter and came with the same kind of cap only it had a blue label. Both sizes had the same picture of a cow on the back of the carton. The cow was black and white and appeared to be a Jersey or a Danish Blue, although clearly the artist had take some artistic license in the drawing."
GAH ... who cares?
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  #21  
Old 04-14-2012, 05:17 AM
Colophon Colophon is offline
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"Hmm, it looks a bit long. Do you have anything with pictures and less than, say, seven chewable pages?"
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  #22  
Old 04-14-2012, 05:56 AM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is offline
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To the OP: depending on your co-worker and how thick-skinned she is, you may be able to get some good conversations going by talking with her about why you don't like the books, or the kinds of books, she recommends, kind of like Nava said. Just don't use words like "suck" that imply that something that you don't like is necessarily objectively bad or, worse, that she's dumb for liking it (even if it's true).


To CairoCarol: I can understand why some people like that level of description: It may help them to picture a scene, or to more fully get inside a character's head. I can also understand why some people hate it, especially if those people read relatively slowly or if the author doesn't do it particularly well.
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  #23  
Old 04-14-2012, 08:57 AM
Vinyl Turnip Vinyl Turnip is online now
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"Ah, cool—you like rape too!"
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  #24  
Old 04-14-2012, 09:21 AM
gracer gracer is offline
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Well, you've read some of her suggestions, usually when you've both read the same books it makes for good discussion. Make sure you have a detailed opinion ready (more than " it is horrible. It's long, it's too detailed, it's boring") and get ready to share your experiences. That way, soon she'll know what you like. She might say "as you thought GwtDT was too long, here is a haiku" and then you could say: "well, that was rather short" and then she would give you Ulysses and so on. You get to know each other's likes and dislikes, get better at recommending stuff and also hopefully some interesting discussion (as you don't agree).

Last edited by gracer; 04-14-2012 at 09:22 AM..
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  #25  
Old 04-14-2012, 09:49 AM
Zeldar Zeldar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyLee View Post
I have been reading a lot. I work a part time job and there is a nice co-worker and she reads a lot. She likes to "share" her books with me. OK she's trying to be nice but her books suck.

Well they don't suck but I don't like them. For example she loved "The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo." I read it and it is horrible. It's long, it's too detailed, it's boring.

...
For what it's worth (I suspect not too much) I'm in the process of reading aloud to my wife the Millennium Trilogy that includes your example sucky book. I'm not here to defend the book as such, since I came at the story first by watching a Netflix streaming version of it (the original Swedish version) and the two follow-up stories right after that.

Larsson obviously enjoyed Ian Fleming's way of getting at character and setting by using intricate detail to do so but there's also a touch of Hemingway in the short declarative sentences. It's easy to read aloud.

I'm enjoying the stories (we're on Volume II now) a good deal. Taste, I guess you could say. Or lack of it.

As for your concerns about how to alert the co-worker that your tastes don't jibe, offer to share some of your choices with her.
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  #26  
Old 04-14-2012, 11:35 AM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is offline
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For an even more difficult dance than the one posed in the OP, try telling a co-worker that his books suck, when he's the one who wrote them.

Actually the one he lent me (for a review) that I was able to get through wasn't bad, except for needing major editing for grammar and fluidity. I was encouraging.
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  #27  
Old 04-14-2012, 06:45 PM
Napier Napier is offline
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"I think we have different tastes. Here, try this one, or this one, and tell me if you like books like these."
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  #28  
Old 04-14-2012, 08:42 PM
Sundrop Sundrop is offline
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She's hitting on you. Next time she offers you a book just say, "Let's cut to the chase, sweetheart. How about we meet in the supply closet in ten minutes and I'll give you the kind of screwing you've only read about!".

That ought to do it.
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  #29  
Old 04-14-2012, 11:40 PM
6ImpossibleThingsB4Breakfast 6ImpossibleThingsB4Breakfast is offline
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Letting her think that you enjoy her books is the same as if she had bad breath. The longer you take before you tell her, the more embarrassing it becomes.

Wear a t-shirt to work that reads:

I don't eat tripe.
I don't read it, either.
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  #30  
Old 04-15-2012, 12:03 AM
Max the Immortal Max the Immortal is online now
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I agree with Napier. "I think we have different tastes." is honest and lets your co-worker face-savingly conclude that it's your taste that's deficient (there's no need to insist otherwise).
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