Why I’m Honored To Be My Friends’ Personal Librarian

In my first post I mentioned my friend Jess, who met up with me at our library’s most recent used book sale. By the time she got there, I had a bag started for her of books I thought she’d enjoy. When I handed her the bag, a woman browsing nearby leaned over and said “Oh you’re lucky, I wish I had someone to pick out books for me.” “Come on,” I responded turning toward the paperbacks, “Let’s find you some books! What do you like to read?” A few minutes later, she shuffled away, clutching a copy of The Glass Castle and two Ann Patchett novels I’d handed her.


When my friend Andrew made a goal to read more, he asked me for some recommendations. I paced in front of my book shelves while talking to him on the phone. “What are you wanting to read?” I asked as I ran my hands along the spines of my collection. “Fiction or non? Do you like sci-fi? What about WW II era history? Do you want humor? Do you want mystery? Do you like a love story?”

Helping a friend choose a book is one of my greatest joys. I have fully embraced this role in my social circle and extended it to the world with this website.

When I’m recommending a book for someone with the goal that they love it, I am rarely off. When  it’s a more casual recommendation, like “Hey, this is a good book, check it out,” I can be more hit or miss.

I attribute my skill at book recommendations to the fact that I am an empath. Sometimes I just know things but more often, I can feel what other people are feeling, can sense what they like or need to encounter in a book.



My friend Amber, who is in my book club and is a kick ass life coach, recently wrote a blog post about how being sensitive is her super power. It’s not a coincidence that she and I have become close friends since we first met a few years ago! So often being sensitive is something we are shamed for, but it truly is a gift. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized the more I nurture my gift and surround myself with people who appreciate this about me, the stronger it has become.



I use my sensitivity paired with my life experiences to know which book someone may find helpful at a certain time in their life. Grief, divorce, celebration, sorrow, depression, physical pain, loneliness, joy, accomplishments: I’ve been through it and I was reading books at the time. Those books either helped me or didn’t, and I like to pass that knowledge on.

Anyone who has recommended a special book to me will always be in my favor. I like to think I hold that place for a few people as well.

How have you discovered some of your favorite books?





  1. Stephanie

    May 17, 2017 at 6:16 pm

    I am awful at picking out books for myself. I find that I surf a lot of top 100 books posts or read on forums about what to read next. I tried Outlander, got thru 2 books and feel like I have to slug my way thru them. I’m currently looking for my next life changing and can’t put it down novel that will challenge how I think. I don’t like a whole lot of non-fiction or self-help types of books and I really need to get away from the young adult post apocolyptic stuff but I love it so much. Have you ever read Unwind? I liked that series a lot and it had me really thinking about ethical issues in society.

  2. 13 Thrillers That Will Get Your Heart Racing - RamonaMead.com

    July 12, 2020 at 3:05 pm

    […] One of my roles in my friend groups, which I take very seriously, is book recommender/reading material filter. Many of my friends are avid readers, yet while their 20-30 books read per year is far above the National average, it’s a small portion of my 100+. And because I read so many, I’m able to use my friends’ favorites as reference points to guide them toward similar and better reads! […]

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