DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!
Jan 15 2009

The lonely bookmark blues

by Lesley B

In every reader’s life there comes a time when you have nothing to read. A time when you’ve read all the books in the series and the librarian says it’ll be a year before the next book comes out. A time when the book your sister loved is just not working for you.   You’re #11 on the waiting list for that bestseller, and you look around the Library and despair because you know there’s no book sitting on the nightstand at home.

Hey reader — it’s time to get some serendipity in your life. Ready? Let’s browse …

Log in to the Library’s catalog and take a close look at the record for the last book you read and enjoyed. Is there a genre listed? Click on that and you’ll find yourself looking at a list of genre headings. Click on the heading with the most records (that’s the number to the right). Now you’re looking a list of library books in that same genre. Anything look good? Get more information by clicking on the reviews and summaries.

There are no genre headings for non-fiction but look to the left and you’ll find the subject headings. Click on those and see what else the Library has on your topic.

Through DCPL’s website you’ve got access to Novelist, a service designed to help readers and librarians find their next book. Novelist has reading lists for all ages, book group discussion guides and lots of other suggestions for readers. I go there most often for the ‘Author Read-alikes’ over on the left side of the home page.

Check out the Library’s Shelf Help page, where you’ll find lists of recommended books and links to reading resources that should keep you clicking on the computer for hours.

And what if you’ve clicked and clicked, followed up on links and recommendations and still you have nothing to read?

I have one more suggestion — the Library Game. To play this game requires a certain boldness, a willingness to step away from other peoples’ suggestions and read a book you know nothing about.  Stand in front of some bookshelves (can be fiction or non-fiction, whatever looks most promising). Close your eyes. Select 3 books from the shelves, one from up high, one from the middle and one from down low. Open your eyes. You must read at least 50 pages of each book you picked before you give it up. (The rule used to be you had to read the whole book; but you know, life is short and books are long, so 50 pages it is).

Too silly for you? Ok, but the Library Game is how I discovered one of my absolute favorite writers, which led to me discovering a lot of other favorite writers, which saved me from having Nothing To Read for a long, long time.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jimmy L March 19, 2009 at 5:05 PM

The library game! That sounds fun, kinda like russian roulette with books. Thanks for telling me about it, I think I’ll disappear into the stacks now. You may never see me again.

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