Why the long face? What’s up? Someone gave you a book for the holidays, and it’s clearly, obviously, blatantly awful and you don’t know what to do about it, huh? Jeeze, that’s rough.
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Option One: Assess the person who gave you the gift. Are they, for example, fantastically old? If so, you’re getting off pretty easy here, because it’s possible they may not remember giving you the book at all and all you have to say is “thank you.” Prepare a nice little gratitude statement and write it down so you can use it next year when they give you another copy of the same book. Easy! But the problem is, there are lots of gift-givers in the world who are not fantastically old and these “non-olds” may cause you problems.
Option Two: Assess if it is a terrible book or a crazy book. The differences can be very subtle. Maybe they just gave you a novel that you, personally, think has the literary merits of a log rolling down a hill (i.e., 3% literary). If it’s a crazy book, be careful! They are trying to convince you of something when they give you the book, paired with pointed looks.
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Option Three: Invent an opinion on the book. This is how you survive not reading the book without admitting you didn’t read the book and probably won’t read it, unless you are actually tied to a bomb that will only defuse if you read the book. Some gift-givers will be satisfied with you saying “I read it, it was pretty good!” and then move on. Others will want to have a dreaded conversation about the book, however. Never fear! You too can contribute a little bit to this discussion. All you have to do is remember LRV: Look at the cover, Read the back of the book, and then Visit Amazon and read a couple reviews. Go for a three star review or so. Too many stars and you’ll seem enthusiastic, and you’re doomed to many discussions and more books. Too few stars, and you have to go have a fight outside. Pick a review with a couple paragraphs, so that the plot is not only summarized but maybe a couple opinions are had about it. Those opinions are now your opinions.
Link to the rest at BookRiot