I suggest we risk to allow questions asking for recommendations if they are specific enough.
It would liven up the site, which lately started to resemble a poor substitute of Wikipedia, or in the case of the Tolkien questions, the Tolkien Gateway.
To provide one example here is a simple question about LoTR:
What were the “Black Pits” the orcs referred to?
the answer to this can be found in less than five seconds by a basic google search containing the keywords 'Black Pits' and 'Tolkien'.
The first hit is the Tolkien Gateway:
The Black Pits were dungeons of torment under Barad-dûr. They were
known to Shagrat who cursed "The Black Pits take that filthy rebel
Gorbag!" after the two orc companies had had a disastrous fight in the
Tower of Cirith Ungol.
The Tolkien Gateway entry also contains the references. We have maaaany similar questions in our bigger tags. To be clear, I am not proposing to get rid of these, as they seem to be very popular, and we have some quality answers to these simple questions, answers which are coherent, written by people who have an in-depth knowledge of the subject and who provide sources and additional details. There are even people who manage to write an interesting answer to questions like 'What is the name of a building where owls are kept?' (Owlery) Those answers are top-notch and very helpful to the OP, help to popularise an already popular theme, but if I want to expand the subject a bit, to ask if someone had written a parody on the life in Barad-dûr or compare fantasy books portraying Moria-style cave systems or ask for novels in which some characters speak in the black speech or in a specific elven dialect or in a new language created by the author, I am not allowed. Those questions would be closed faster than saying 'Mubull'.
Sometimes it feels SFF doesn't allow to introduce less popular authors than Tolkien or Rowling or creators like George Lucas. If I am looking for recommendations on the portrayal of a specific cyberpunk trope or a description of a space elevator in hard sci-fi books and would like some advice from people who read similar ones, then again, if I post a question, it will be very short-lived, which is a pity, as SFF could be an excellent tool for introducing less known authors and tropes.
So why the restrictive policy? In the cases mentioned OP has a specific problem and would like answers from people who have expertise on the subject.
To prevent the SFF being flooded by low-quality questions about overused and cliche tropes we could define what we consider too broad.
While a question "I am looking for a book about aliens"
would be indeed too broad, one asking
"I am looking for a hard sci-fi novel about a spaceship crashing on a planet inhabited by intelligent ammonia-based alien life"
while still would have many possible answers, hopefully will attract people who are interested in the subject and had read books on it, people capable of writing informative answers introducing the top quality books on the subject with their assessment. Answers like those would be very helpful to those interested in them, and in general good for the stack, and to prevent endless repetition of popular tropes, new questions on already existing themes could be closed as duplicates.