Ask the Librarian: Steps to Finding the Right Book for You!

Selecting the Book - Finding that right book for that right moment isn't an easy feat! I struggle and go through very dry spells. Most importantly, I keep trying. Trying means selecting a variety of books - new authors, next in series, books in places I want to visit, or just picking up another librarian's recent favorite. I typically take home 5-15 books. The 5 will include recent requests I hear about from various podcasts and emails about books and the rest are from browsing displays and shelves. What happens next? Reading the back covers, inside flaps --- then break it open and start reading! 

Reading - I feel so strongly that authors must grab you in the first few pages. They go through so much to get published - and their editors want that book to grab you - those pages must work and carry you through the story. If it isn't striking you at the moment - put it down. It might be great for someone else, might be great for you in a few weeks - but it might not be in harmony with you today. Feel good about having the choice and freedom to read what you want. 

Finished up? I usually keep a record of my books and rate them on GoodReads.com.  If it is a story that sticks with me for some reason, I will do more research on the author or place and time. The author will bring a character to life, but sometimes I want to fill-in the gaps. Why did she write this? Did these events actually happen as explained? mark the month and year read. Other times, I just want to talk about the book! I will blab about it to my librarian friends and mom. I want to hear others' thoughts and experience reading the book. 

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Andrea Pearlstein