Thursday, June 14, 2007

The TBR list continues...

When I read reviews I always have a notepad at the ready. In fact, I carry a padfolio with me wherever I go in libraryland. Most precisely, I carry the Crocodile-Trim Padfolio by Buxton, in red. Not surprisingly, my opposite number in International Languages carries the same item but in a manly black. Which is nice. Because he's a man.

As I wander through the day I jot down what I need to or want to remember. Anything from a grocery item to a website to an overstimulated-library-user-inspired haiku. Most frequently I jot things I need to remember to order, authors I need to check our holdings for, and books to add to my reading list. Books to be read or, in library-lingo: TBR.

A lot of times I write something down, stick it in my to-be-ordered/checked file (tbo/cf) and don't see it again for weeks. When my tbo/cf gets large enough or the budget is large enough, I go through and review my possibilities. In the process, I come across titles with the word: READ beside them. Sometimes I know why. Sometimes I don't. Sometimes the moment is past. Mostly, it's an archeological dig.

Today, I came across this cryptic note: Read Klasky, Mindy Girls Guide to Witchcraft. Sounds like chick-lit. I don't really enjoy chick-lit. It's really more for the younger crowd and good on 'em, right?

So, let's check the catalog:
Red Dress Inc. Publishes chick-lit but...AHA! It's a Romance. One point in its favor right off the bat. Let's look at the annotation..."a librarian who finds a world-class collection on witchcraft." A librarian romance? This keeps getting better and better!

A click on the review button and I discover the BookList, October 15, 2006 review..."fashion-challenged librarian..." budget, salary, and hours cut...(this sounds familiar)...Ah...sympathetic soul lets her live rent-free in a cottage (ooooh...this could get...gothic).

And in the cottage? "...she discovers a hidden key that unlocks the door to the basement, which is filled with a wide array of witchcraft books. Jane is even more surprised when she recites a spell and it works, calling forth a familiar in the form of a handsome, cheeky gay man and bringing a stern but sexy warder, David, to her door"

OK, 'nuff said. It's a little off the beaten track for me but a librarian, a romance, a cheeky gay pal and a sexy warder? What the heck, put it on the TBR electronic bookshelf in my personalized chunk of the catalog.

Underneath my notation for this prospective gem, I see a more ominous note: Charles Bukowski Women. Why would I jot that down? Did I mean to read it? Once again we go to the catalog for clarification. ...ok...looks like he wrote this around 1978. All we have in the catalog is an excerpt from the Sparrow Press edition. We don't even have the edition anymore. Vaporized

Not What I Was Looking For. Nope, that must have been a note to order as we no longer have copies. Which is a mega-bummer because those Sparrow Press editions are good stuff, straddling the line(s) between art, quality materials, and practicality.

Next up: Karen Rose Don't Tell...catalog check...Hey! I read this in the publisher's proof! It was pretty good. But no TBR for you!

OK, so only Girl's Guide to Witchcraft made my "bookshelf" feature on the catalog. It will wait there until I read it.

Then there are the things we "should" ourselves into reading. I'm a professional Booktender, so it's not too much to expect me to read outside my beloved romance genre and, I confess, I have not read much Inspirational/Christian Fiction.

It's a good idea for me to delve in there once in a while. After all, I serve that population too. Fortune smiled in the shape of a Reader's Advance (RA) copy of Linda Windsor's Piper Cove Chronicles novel Wedding Bell Blues. I grabbed a Reader's Advance (RA) copy so, unlike those I have to wait for, I can take it home and put it on the TBR pile (not to be confused with the TBR bookshelf on our catalog.)

Over at LibraryThing photographic TBR piles has become a minor artform. Someday I'll have to indulge.

I also happened across an RA of Shannon Holmes' Dirty Game. This is a novel of the Urban/hip-hop/bling lit genre. Definitely another world for me. But wow, what a world.

I'm getting a lot of 18-24 yo african-american women (and a few males) coming in for this type of book. That's impressive. That's really unusual for this neck of the woods. I'm trying to keep that genre well-stocked as I want this demographic to feel welcome to libraryland. Might as well give this book a good skim to see what's really shakin'.

So, today's TBR bookshelf/pile had 5 candidates. 1 made the bookshelf and 2 made the pile. 1 had been read previously and 1 was a red herring.

Congratulations to our winners and thanks everybody for playing our game!

What I'm Reading Now: Triangle b Katherine Weber

What I'm Listening to Now: Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell

What I'm watching on TV: It's summer reality time. So You Think You Can Dance? Hell's Kitchen, Top Chef, and Pirate Master. I confess I'm looking forward to Big Brother. I'm enjoying Traveler this summer but hope it picks up the pace a little. Props to CBS for Doing the Right Thing and picking up Jericho for another season.

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