Read On! Reader’s Advisory

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

If you’re on social media and follow any bookish pages or bookish friends, you have likely heard of the Icelandic tradition “Jolabokaflod,” or “Christmas Book Flood,” where everyone gives books on Christmas Eve and then spends the rest of the night reading. This is a tradition I can get behind and may try this year.

Selecting just the right book for a family member or friend can be stressful. To help ease that stress and to avoid even more spending during this gift-buying season, our family’s twist on the Christmas Book Flood tradition will be to check out library books instead of buying new books. Plus, my TBR (To Be Read) pile of books I own is as tall as I am!

If you’d like to have a Christmas Book Flood or a book flood at any other time of the year and need help picking just the right books, you should talk to us. One of the things your library staff does well is help readers find good books. (The fancy library term for this is called “Readers Advisory” and the way we conduct Readers Advisory is through what fancy libraries call a “Reference Interview.”)

To do a proper Reference Interview we will ask you questions like “What books (or movies or video games) have you liked in the past? Why did you like those things? What are you in the mood for today?” and so on. It is helpful to us if you also tell us anything you definitely do not want to read.

After we’ve asked our initial questions, we will likely start making suggestions. “Have you read…?” or “How do you feel about this genre?” and the like. Because tastes vary and we all have our strengths, we may ask other staff to help you. Generally, I’m good at recommending fantasy books, Jacinda does horror, and so on. (Marie knows all the books, by the way.) So, if you need something to read or buy for a friend, come see us!