As I prepare for the new semester, I am updating the resource sheets I give my students for each genre. One of the genres that is most popular with readers, but has the least number of resources are a group of books we RAs refer to a "gentle reads." Now mind you, readers do not refer to them this way. Generally, however, these books are the ones our patrons are expecting when they come in and ask for "a good read."
What these readers are looking for is a good story with meat to it, but no on stage sex, no cursing, and no dark issues. One of the biggest mistakes librarians make when working with these readers is by assuming these readers are looking for unsophisticated books. This is not the case at all. These are nostalgic stories, with complex characters, interesting plots, and plenty of conflict (just not the bloody kind).
One of the best places where the gentle genre is shown in the best light is with the cozy mystery. We are in a boom time for this popular subgenre. To cash in on its success, the term cozy, in fact, is now being embraced by non-mystery titles. A well known and respected blog, Cozy Library, chronicles this growing world of gentler reads. Click here for their definition of cozy and checkout their pages for fiction, nonfiction, mystery, and not quite cozy reading suggestions.
I am excited to finally have a thoughtful resource for my students to use in locating gentle reads for patrons.
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