Thursday, April 23, 2015

What Do Librarians Read? Part Two

It might go without saying that librarians (and library support staff - we answer to "librarian", but in truth we go by many titles) like books! Library workers are encouraged to read (though not at work), and to have a working knowledge of the library's holdings - helpful for book recommendations, book clubs, and the like. With that in mind, and inspired by an article from Book Riot (because when we're not reading books, we're reading about reading books), we asked a smattering ABC Librarians to share their reading habits, including:

1. What I'm reading now
2. What's on my to-be-read list
3. How I choose my next book
4. Favorite book to recommend

Here are their responses! (For more responses, check out Part One.)


1. What I'm reading now: I've really been enjoying re-reading the Harry Potter series and just started book 6, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.  I've also just begun one about vermicomposting called Worms Eat My Garbage by Mary Appelhof.  As fascinating as the worm book is (I'm not being sarcastic), it's pretty hard to pick it up when I have Harry Potter on hand!

2. What's on my to-be-read-list: I currently have 68 books on my list.  Oh my, I didn't know it was that bad.  And a good portion of them are series.  I want to read the Legend series by Marie Lu (it's young adult).  I want to read several kid's trilogies, including the Half Upon a Time series by James Riley.  I also have a ton of non-fiction I'm looking forward to.  For one, there's Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart L. Brown.  Also, cookbooks: Nourishing Broth by Sally Fallon Morrell.  I'll stop there.

3. How I choose my next book: Usually it's just what feels right.  Something catches my eye and I usually just write down the title, but every once in a while I'll see a book and think to myself "I need to read this now because I'm just THAT excited about it."  People recommend books to me all the time, but if my heart's not in it, I won't pick it up.  It has to be the right time.

4. Favorite book to recommend: I think people asking for a recommendation often want a novel - we'll pretend that's true for my purposes in answering this question, at least.  So in that case, I would say The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.  This one is the first of an epic fantasy series, The Kingkiller Chronicle.  It's hard to get into at first, but so worth it - I adore it.  The second one, The Wise Man's Fear, is also great.  If you ask for my recommendation and don't like fantasy, you might be out of luck!  All I read is fantasy and most of it is for kids.  The Name of the Wind is definitely not for kids, but may interest young adult readers.


1. What I'm reading now: I am currently reading Life After Life by Kate Atkinson.

2. What's on my to-be-read-list: My to-be-read list is about 600 books long (literally) and is made up of everything that has caught my eye or recommended to me by a trusted source.

3. How I choose my next book: I choose my next book my randomly selecting something off my to-be-read list. I refuse to just go down the list one by one, I need a little spontaneity.

4. Favorite book to recommend: My favorite book to recommend seriously depends on the person. Children: The Phantom Tollbooth. YA: Cinder or Legend series. Adult: Lies of Locke Lamora or Where'd You Go Bernadette?.


1. What I'm reading now: Thunderstruck and Other Stories by Elizabeth McCracken, What the Fork Are You Eating? by Stefanie Sacks, Get in Trouble by Kelly Link, and on the Overdrive Media Console app on my phone I am listening to The Pocket Wife by Susan Crawford.

2. What's on my to-be-read list: I have over 400 books on that list and it gets bigger every week.  I use Goodreads to help me keep track of it, as well as random scraps of paper stuck in random places.  Goodreads is nice because I can tag books as being available to borrow from the library, or needing to suggest the library purchase it, or having to get an Interlibrary Loan, or just buying it outright.  The books I am MOST excited about reading are In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume, The Folded Clock by Heidi Julavits, Delicious Foods by James Hannaham, A Touch of Stardust by Kate Alcott, Single, Carefree, Mellow: Stories by Katherine Heiny, and Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver. 

3. How I choose my next book: Mostly by how I feel, but sometimes by what comes in for me through my library hold list.  I try to listen to books that will motivate me to walk every day, so a suspense book like The Pocket Wife is good, because in order to keep "reading" it for a long period, I have to walk for a long period, which is my daily exercise.  I listened to Reconstructing Amelia, and My Sunshine Away, for the same reason.  I also get advance reader copies sent to me occasionally, and I like to read those before I read my library books since they are often copies of stuff that hasn't been published yet, which makes me feel smug and superior.  I often look through my Goodreads list of stuff that is in the library collection and see if it's available on the shelf at my branch, when I am looking for a last minute read.  I also follow every book account (including ABC Reads!) I can find on Twitter to keep up with what the collective book world is reading.

4. Favorite book to recommend: This changes, especially since I HATE it when people ask for a recommendation, and then when you recommend this awesome book you just finished they say something like, "Oh, I never read fiction," or "Oh, that sounds too sad for me.  I wanted to hear about something funny."  However, my newest book that I'm a psychotic weirdo for is Night At The Fiestas: Stories by Kirsten Valdez Quade.  This book made me wish I still worked in a bookstore so I could force people to buy it.  The stories mostly take place in Northern New Mexico, and they are so well done, especially when describing the people of New Mexico.  Sometimes I will come across a book that I love so much that I want people to read it even if they hate, just so they will read it, and be aware of it, and this is how I feel about Night At The Fiestas.  I felt the same way about The Book Thief, Where'd You Go, Bernadette?, The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Let's Take the Long Way Home by Gail Caldwell, and Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney.


2) What's on my to-be-read list: Water to the Angels: William Mulholland, His Monumental Aqueduct, and the Rise of Los Angeles by Les Standiford,  Bettyville: A Memoir by George Hodgeman, and Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum (because sometimes you need fluff)

3) How I choose my next book: I process the new books, so I “browse”…..Also Mental Floss has an awesome book list for non fiction

4) Favorite book to recommend: The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy. Set in post WWII Los Angeles, an awesome look into how Los Angeles used to be (that’s my hometown!). Completely twisted and dark, not for the faint of heart or the weak of stomach. But absolutely compelling. Based on an actual unsolved murder that has become legend in Southern California.


1. What I'm reading now: Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death, The Castlemaine Murders, The Big Four (audio), Best Tent Camping in New Mexico

2. What's on my to-be-read list: Next up: Leaving Tinkertown, a Donna Leon mystery on audio, all (yes, all) of the cookbooks

3. How I choose my next book: Depends on which one is out.  Lunch reading alternates between mysteries and nonfiction, tending towards NF and for that I look at the new shelf.  Bedtime reading is a mystery (literally) and I tend towards the cozies.  For the car it’s also usually a mystery.

4.  Favorite book to recommend: For grown-ups I sometimes recommend Louise Penny.  For chapter books Dealing with Dragons and for kidlets anything by Nicholas Oldland.  Because they are awesome.


1.What I'm reading now: I am currently reading The Life I Left Behind by Colette McBeth a novel of suspense.

2. What's on my to-be-read list: Anything mystery or suspense ends up on my to-be-read list. The next book I plan to read is
Life or Death by Michael Robotham.

3. How I choose my next book: I select titles based on the author, book reviews and book recommendations by friends, co-workers and customers.

4. Favorite book to recommend: I generally read mystery and suspense, currently a favorite mystery to recommend is The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny.  Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall was recommended by a customer and I have shared that title with others looking for a good general fiction read. The Calligrapher's Daughter by Eugenia Kim is my pick for historical novel.  For children I like to recommend A Long Way From Chicago by Richard Peck and for YA Epic by Conor Kostick.

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