Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Choosing a Book

I've always been a reader. My tastes have changed over the years. I think I was destined to become a librarian.

In junior high, I will not disclose the dates, the following will date me anyway, I read all of R.L.Stine's Fear Street series. I knew when they came out. My mother knew when they came out. Only because I told her, since she was my only way to getting the books. I could wait a day, but after that, I got angry. (I'm a natural redhead. I can, and sometimes do, have the temper that goes with that.)

In high school, I moved on from the scary, creepy world of Fear Street to the opposite end of the spectrum. I read romance novels. Not just any romance novels. I read a set of historical fiction romance novels. They were sappy not graphic. Unfortunately, I don't remember the name of the publisher. They all had the same type of covers. There were two published every month. Again, I knew what days they came out. They never lasted until the next month though.

Today, I'm a middle school librarian, grades 6-8. That's my target audience. I read what they would read.

I've been told by my husband that I'm rude to the sales staff at bookstores. If this is the case, I truly apologize. It is not my intent to be rude. It's just that I take my job seriously. If I'm in a bookstore, then I probably know exactly what I'm looking for and do not need to be interrupted by the staff wondering if I need help picking something out. The answer is always NO! Besides, you don't know me.

For me, choosing a book is a personal matter. I'm not always going to read what someone suggests. You've got to know someone to give them a book. You need to know what they like and what they find interesting.

I've learned not to be so picky in my reading materials. With my job, I need to be well-read. (Yes, this even means reading Zombie books that I really have no interest in. No offense to those who write zombie books!)

I'm the type of librarian who stands back and watches. I see the kids who just wander the shelves and have no clue what they are looking for. That's when I'll ask if they need/want help.
Twice this week, I've had students come into the library looking for books.

The first young lady came in, wandered around before coming to my desk. She asked if I'd recommend a book for her because she really liked the last book I picked out. (Karma Club by Jessica Brody) This was a big deal. This girl is NOT a big reader. Man did she put me to the test. So, I pulled some other books for her, nothing quite like Karma Club though. (Three Black Swans by Cooney, Dirty Little Secrets by Omololu, and Sweetheart of Prosper County by Alexander)

The second young lady is one of my 8th grade library aides. Again, she came up to me and said, "Will you pick out a book for me? I like what you choose." She had just finished reading The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams. (A powerfully AWESOME book!) She chose The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting and Willow by Julia Hoban.

I think about times like those when I wonder what I'm doing. Neither one of those kiddos was a big reader. Yet, they seem to be turning that around. Is it me? Heck no! It's the authors who have written the stories. I'm just the person who makes the suggestion. There is a book out there for everyone. Some people just haven't found the right one(s) yet.

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