What should I read next? [UPDATED]Published 9:26am Thursday, November 29, 2012 Updated 11:27am Thursday, November 29, 2012
“Can you help me find a good book? What should I read next? I really like mysteries/dystopian fiction/biographies/etc. What can you recommend?”
It’s not unusual for library staff to hear questions like these on a daily basis. So how do we figure out how to answer? Contrary to popular belief, librarians don’t actually get to read every book in the collection. If only there were enough time. Instead, we rely on a variety of resources that help us help you.
Amazon.com: I’ll start with the big one. I’m sure many of you have been on this website and it’s a great way to discover new books. You can search by age group, department (genre), publication date, and more. Most titles have multiple editorial (professional) reviews included, as well as customer-added reviews. They also compile many “best of” lists which are available to browse. One of my favorite things to do on this site is to watch book trailers.
It may seem counter-intuitive to use video to promote a print material but book trailers (think movie previews) can really get a reader excited about a title.
Goodreads.com: This is a wonderful website for readers. Often customers will ask us for a printout of books they’ve already read, but the library does not keep this information for privacy issues.
I always recommend checking out Goodreads because it’s a great way to keep track of what you’ve read and what you want to read. There’s also a social networking component to it which lets you connect via Facebook and see what your friends are reading.
Indiebound.org: IndieBound targets both readers and independent booksellers and offers wonderful book lists for children, teen, and adults called “The Indie Next List.” It’s usually available in print form at Lundeen’s and you can also browse it online. The “Next List” is also archived so you can get great titles (recommended by booksellers all over the country) going back to 2008.
Earlyword.com: One of the best ways to stay up-to-date on what’s being released in the book world. This site updates daily with different postings about new titles, books that have long waiting lists, books in the media, and books that are being made into movies. You can follow Earlyword on Twitter and subscribe to their weekly newsletter.
If you’re looking for a good book for yourself or a family member I hope you are able to explore some of these options. You can always feel free to ask the library staff, too. We love to help.
Finally, I’d like to let you know that we have created our first “Staff Favorites” guide, available at the library or on our website. Find out what some of our favorite recent reads have been for children, teens and adults. Great for the gift-giving season or discovering a great new read for yourself.
Arielle Krohn is the Youth Librarian at Fergus Falls Public Library.