you can lead a horse to water

My husband used to say, give someone tickets to the theatre and you've made a friend; give them a second time and you've made a bum.  People get accustomed very quickly to freebies and expect them.

My friends and family have never bought any of my books; they wait for me to hand them out.  But, here's the catch: then they don't read them, either.  I think I am also remiss in that regard: I often don't read books by people I know even when I've bought their books with ready money.  The very fact of owning a book means that you've almost read it, anyway, no matter whose book it is.  More so with friends.  Also, especially if you've been given the book, there's this obligation, something like what you owe oatmeal porridge: an obligation.  Read this, it's good for you. So  you don't.

I went to the dentist this morning, not for anything drastic, I'm happy to say, just for a check-up and cleaning.  My hygienist is a great reader, reads all the time.  So last time I was there I took her a book of mine, more than six months ago.  Guess what?  She hasn't read it.  I said I wasn't surprised. It bears out what I have already noted, that people I know don't read my books especially when I give them away.  

It's a good thing strangers liked my books or I would be on welfare by now.