Thursday, November 13, 2008

What's a Good Book to Read?

Apparently I have a second reader! I am soooo psyched! VicGent asks a very good question. And, Bravo, VicGent! You have happened on the scariest question a librarian gets.

Nope, it's not "can you get me a book to identify this poisonous snake I have in my bag" or even "you wanna go out later?"
The scariest question a librarian ever gets is "can you recommend a book to read?" I mean, there you are. Your butt's out flyin' in the wind. No one can save you.
You may have to disclose something about yourself. You may have to figure out something the reader might want but is outside your comfort zone. And, worst of all, the customer might decide you are now his or her best buddy. ACK!

Fortunately, VicGent is interested in Fiction. So at least we're in the same huge genre. As my readers may have noticed, Fiction R Me. What VicGent may not be aware of is that I'm currently stuck in Contemporary Romantic Suspense mode. Not the most appealing to most men, but if I can swing a few people into the fold, my blog frequently covers the subject.

Fortunately, your gentle Booktender does have a tool for the average reader who likes to know what's up where and how to find other stuff that appeals. In fact, I have a boat-load of tools you can use to look for good stuff.

Booktender's Rules of Keeping Up With Good Reading:
1. Setup a newsreader and subscribe to newsfeeds. GoogleReader could not be easier. And it looks prettier than Bloglines. Both are great. Just go to the blog that has a newsfeed, get the rss code, put it in your reader and read your reader on a regular basis. Tons of good stuff

2. Set yourself up on to track what you've read and what you want to read. When I'm reading in series I can easily track which one I read last and search for the next one. And you can see what other people who have read the book have read and on and on. Great tool.

On to the feeds:
First off, the Readers Advisor Online's blog is the BOMB. You have all the living greats of the reader's advisory world talking reading. Top notch. Add it to your reader. Or go to the website weekly. Just read it.

Lots of people hear about books while commuting. NPR has lots of feeds mentioning what books were talked about when. And I do believe both of my readers are NPR fans!
NPR Topics: Authors

Media Mentions and Library Professional blogs keep me up to date on both fiction and non-fiction. I follow these:

Specific genres, like SF, romance, mystery, etc. have a plethora of feeds. As you might guess, I've narrowed mine just down to "my" genre: Romance
and even academic sites that discuss the genre: Teach Me Tonight

And if all else fails, my GoogleReader's shared items go to the "Anon's Shared Items" stream found at Libraryland Roundup. I don't put every review I stumble across onto the feed and there are lots of other libraryland related things sprinkled in there but, between me and my fictious cohorts, a lot of good stuff gets up there.


Kirk Petersen said...

Hey Bookie, I signed up for Goodreads after learning about it from your post. I hope it will help me keep track of which titles I have and have not read from my favorite mental-potato-chip-fiction authors. Lots of data entry to do first, though....

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