Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Book Loan

One of my co-workers who rides the same bus route that I do spends his trips reading similar fantasy books to the ones that I read. As far as I can tell, he only started reading them when he got the job downtown a few years ago, so he has close to an infinite array of books to choose from.

Somewhere along the line I got talking with him about how I have read a lot of books in my day, and which ones I liked, which ones I didn't, etc. Since I have piles and piles of books that I couldn't possibly find the time to read on a regular basis I have slowly been loaning him various series to read. Which is a surprisingly tricky business.

Like it does with most things, everyone's tastes vary slightly and so the books that I really like may not be the ones that other people really like. There is always the risk that I bring in a book and a few days later he stops by to say "What the heck did you give me that one for?". It hasn't happened that often, but there have been a number where I didn't need to dig out the second or third books in the series.

An added complication is I have a fair amount of books I read back in junior high and high school. Some I have read since, and confirmed my opinion of them, but others I haven't touched since. And recommending a book I haven't read for 15 years seems somewhat suspect, particularly based on the literature opinions of a teenager.

On the other hand, when you have 30-40 minutes each way five days a week, you can do make some serious progress on books, and anything is better then just staring out the window dully at traffic. So I assume even if he doesn't like the book its better then that.


Bill Roehl said...

I read about two books a week on the bus and yes, even the books I haven't cared for are infinitely better than staring at traffic. But if I don't like a book it normally takes me twice as long to finish it because napping is better than both :)

Steve Eck said...

There does seem to be a significant amount of napping going on on the bus most days. Even in the afternoon, which always surprises me.

Bill Roehl said...

I'm much more likely to sleep on the way home as I'm a morning person.