How To Recommend Books To Different Types Of People

Having trouble narrowing down books to recommend to your non-bookish friends? Here are some ways to help them find works that suit their different tastes!

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As is the case with most bookish people, it’s hard to stop yourself from talking about your favorite books. The real problem occurs when your friends ask you to recommend a book to them. You know your own taste best, but what if your friend doesn’t like rom-coms? What if they’re always busy, or have different interests, or different modes of consuming content? No need to worry! We’ve compiled a list of five different types of people in hopes that we can help you find the right book to recommend to them!

5. Busybodies

messy desk

We all have that friend that can’t ever catch a break. Whether it be because of work, kids, or other responsibilities, they are always on the move. Some may even have their own TBR list but have no time to get through an entire novel. For a busybody, the best kinds of books to recommend to them are short story collections and novellas. If they want fictional short stories, Haruki Murakami’s collections, such as Men Without Women, are easily consumable and provide captivating imagery. Jean Chen Ho’s Fiona and Jane also provides witty short stories from two women’s perspectives on friendship. If they have a little more time, novellas such as A Dowry of Blood and All the Horses of Iceland tell exceptional stories in less than 300 pages. With an array of choices like these, there’s hardly any excuse to not pick up a book!

4. Movie Buffs


Every time a new book becomes a hit, there’s always someone saying, “I’ll just wait for the movie.” Almost all bookish people can agree: the book is always better than the movie. There are dozens of adaptations that have been released in recent years and even more that are slated to come out this year. For friends that prefer movies, you may have to recommend books that are leagues better than the film, such as Dune, or ones with mixed reviews like Death on the Nile. One incentive that may entice movie buffs is that, when reading the book before watching the film, it can be fun to discuss or complain about the way the story was interpreted and what was left out afterward. There’s still enough time to read Bullet Train before its release, so let the movie-goer of your group prepare themselves for post-credit ranting!

3. Sports Fanatics

sports fans cheering

The greatest thing about sports is that there is always something to watch throughout the year, whether it be baseball, football, or Formula 1. The same can also be said about books! There are a wide array of sports-related works that fans can get into. One example of this is autobiographies. Former basketball player Dwayne Wade released his Dwayne autobiography late last year detailing his life on and off the court. Another popular sports genre is commentaries, such as Julie DiCaro’s book Sidelined: Sports, Culture, and Being a Woman in America. Aside from these non-fiction options, there are many sports-themed fiction books such as Patina or The Crossover. Whether they’re sitting on the couch or in the stands, sports fans will surely appreciate these recommendations!

2. Headphone Users

person with headphones on crossing the street

One of the best parts of living in the digital age is having access to many things on one device: music, books, you name it! For friends who always have their Airpods or headphones on, audiobooks and podcasts are the way to go when recommending them something. With apps like Audible and Scribd, finding audio versions of books has never been easier. Some are even narrated by their authors, such as The Memory Librarian And Other Stories of Dirty Computer by Janelle Monáe. As for podcasts, Spotify has created some that act like audiobooks, with each chapter being split into episodes. Notable stories that can be found on the app include Jane Eyre and Persuasions. Audiobooks and podcasts are a great recommendation for those that enjoy listening rather than reading.

1. Comic Cons

woman laying on the floor reading a comic book

Finally, we’ve got our visual learners: comic book fans. For those that prefer seeing pictures to reading, you’re in luck! These friends have a lot of options to choose from! One of the most popular books to recommend is manga. These Japanese books usually have multiple volumes, such as My Hero Academia with over 30 issues, while some are standalone manga, like Lovesickness by Junji Ito. In terms of graphic novels, Persepolis and The Walking Dead are among the most popular in the genre. Some full-length novels, such as Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, are given new life by being transformed into graphic novels. Another option for comic lovers is webtoons! They resemble comics and manga and offer many different genres on the Webtoon app, such as the action-packed Tower of God or LGBTQ+ romance Heartstopper. Endless options for a comic fan!

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