I recently had the pleasure of introducing my father to a series of books he now loves. It made me feel really good to do this, and I started to think about why. The obvious reasons are that:
1. In a small way, I made my dad happy
2. I can share my enjoyment of these books with him.
I go out of my way to do things like this. I recommend TV shows, sometimes even pushing DVD copies into my friends' hands. I recommend magazines and cookie recipes. Mostly, I recommend books, because my friends and family know that I'm a voracious reader of varied styles and subjects. Therefore I am more of an "expert" on books than I am on most other things. (Except perhaps teaching elementary music, because I actually have a degree in that. But the correct way to crow on a reed is not something that often comes up in conversations with "normal"- that is, non-musical- people.) And I obviously enjoy recommending books, because that's what this blog was about for an entire year.
But I think the main reason I like recommending isn't the altruistic one of making my dad or others happy, or the warm-and-fuzzy one of sharing a love of something. It's because, like every human, I like it when my opinion is valued and validated by others. If someone likes what I recommended, I take credit for my opinion. I am given the pride of knowing that I correctly assessed what someone else would like. This reflects positively on both my ability to evaluate art (books, TV shows) and people (like my dad).
This is the kind of thing my ego needs more of these days, as my professional opinion is not being utilized, and my opinion as a mother is pretty much limited to conversations with my husband. I guess that's why I have this blog!