Influence my reading

I am about halfway through Jim and Casper Go to Church, but I am really enjoying it.  This is a book by a church guy and an atheist who visit churches together and discuss their reactions following their visits.

But this post is not really so much about what the book is about, as about the power of recommendation.  The copy I am reading was lent to me by a friend. He offered it to me as he recommended it.

Here’s the thing; I had heard of this book before and never thought about it again.  As Rachel and I talked about it, she reminded me where I had heard of it before.

There is another clergy we know who is almost constantly spouting book titles. He is fairly adept at the latest church lingo as well, so, I realized, he can (apparently) talk at length about a book without really saying anything, or, perhaps, knowing anything about the book!

I say this because I now know what Jim and Casper Go to Church is about.  If this guy had come anywhere near describing the book, I would have read it sooner. Yet, I had heard of the book, and had not really even considering reading it.

Or, it may have been that I had been inoculated from the other guy’s recommendation by his seemingly constant recitation of bland, vaguely yet trendily worded recommendations of thing he had probably found on the Bishop’s Reading List.

It has only been a couple weeks since I posted this about reading suggestions.   Let this post stand as further commentary, or a clarification of my policy on accepting reading advice.  If there is a book you think I would like, or that you would like for me to read, then:

  1. put your recommendation in terms other than my “need” to read the book
  2. present it, or mention it in a way that invites my interest and/or curiosity.

I look forward to adding to my reading list, so bring it on!

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