Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Reading through the alphabet

Maybe if I say this out loud (or type it quietly) I'll have to actually follow through with something: I'm going to read a new author each week, for 26 weeks, right through the alphabet.

There are a few rules, and I'll make up more as I go along (and as I break the ones I already made):

  1. Read consecutively through the alphabet, by last name.
  2. Limit authors to the "Mystery" section of the library
  3. I must select a book that is available at the library where I work.
  4. It's best if the author has several titles.
  5. It's okay to read bestsellers.
  6. The author must be someone I haven't read.
  7. I don't have to finish the book if I don't love it.
  8. If I don't finish a book, I will have at least done the Joyce Sarricks' style of getting to know a book. (More about that later. Joyce Sarricks is a librarian, author, book reviewer and guru of good librarians.)
  9. I do have to find good things to say about the book and/or author.
  10. I will not be deterred from my alphabetical mission if someone should say something snarky, such as "What??? You haven't read THAT yet?"
Hmmm ... I'm going to work on those rules so they're a bit snappier.

Anyway, I'm doing this because I think I'm recommending the same mystery authors again and again to readers at my library. I feel only 38 percent confident when I recommend a book/author I don't know that much about; I always feel like I'm really talking out of my butt because I have no idea since I haven't actually read the book. My intent with this is to explore mysteries I might not usually read -- with the ultimate goal of being a better readers advisory librarian.

Oh, look at that! I just used library jargon. We talk about readers advisory a lot, and it's what we do all day (or at least most of the day) in the Fiction Department at my library. I kind of hate that I just dropped that term into a blog post. Let me rephrase: I want to do a better job of connecting people with books that they have a high likelihood of enjoying.