I have in the past read most of them... or at least attempted to. I didn't say I loved them and admitted they weren't my usual genre to read. I would ask the person if they read the book and what they liked. I could usually pick out a couple of interesting points to discuss.
I only gift books that Ive written something in or I know the person wants (as in have asked for). Even after I give a book - I dont ask about it. Id prefer not to be lied to. If theyve read the book - theyll say - oh my word youve written part of it, and if not - they dont say anything. In any case, I say pass it along to someone who will appreciate it. That person will thank you. Now about the other person who gave you the book...maybe intention will determine what they feel. If they just wanted someone to gain something - they wont mind - even if that person wasnt you. If they wanted you specifically to gain something, there might be some hurt feelings. But hopefully, that will pass.
It could be those books were ones that they themselves really enjoyed, and thought you might like also. You might want to give them a try. If you didn't enjoy them you can tell the giver why. I give most of my books away after reading them anyway, no matter what my thoughts were. I only keep a small number.
Re-gifting is an option, but you can also go to a book seller and sell them and get credit toward something you may want to read. As far as telling someone how you liked them, you can always say they just weren't your type of book. You appreciated the thought.
On another note-- have you tried to read them? Maybe you will find another genre that you like. I had someone give me some books and I am a front cover title kind of person. I sat down and read one and hated it. But the other one I loved. I usually try to give a book the first three or four chapters unless it is the Hobbit and they I have to go much further. I wouldn't feel awkward or crummy. You did appreciate the thought it just wasnt your normal genre.
What do you do about books that someone gave you as a present, but which you really have no interest in reading? I mean, I have no problem passing them along as library donations or re-gifting to someone who does want to read them. But I feel tense about when the giver asks about how I liked them!! I don't feel like I'd have much choice besides telling the truth, just that it'll feel a little awkward and crummy, I guess.
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