I am back from a 2 week vacation where I saw my baby sister get married in New England and visited my home state of New Jersey. This got me thinking about the fact that since moving from Jersey to the Midwest, I will read anything-- fiction or nonfiction, any genre-- as long as it has New Jersey in it.
When I teach my students to write their Reader Profiles, I mention this reading quirk to them. I ask them to think about their reading habits. In the RA biz we call these special interest areas, "Frames." "What special frames do you enjoy?" is the question I make them consider.
Most students look at me blankly at first, but once they go home to write their up their reader profiles they find they too have special frames which they will read about in any type of book. It is great exercise to make them think about their own reading habits, which can then make them more sensitive to addressing future patrons' habits. Until you force yourself to think about it, these likes and dislikes usually stay hidden in your subconscious. My goal is to make them "Super RA Librarians," and this is an important component tot heir training.
Here are some examples from students and friends of frames they love: Faberge Eggs, Tudor England, and I once had a student who would read any pink covered book. There are actual readers out there that will reading everything and anything that have these frames. You can click here to see some past student's reader profiles for more examples.
For me, other frames I greatly enjoy besides NJ are books with circuses, books that are set on college campuses, books with a Civil War background but which do not focus on the battles, and books with baseball in them. I will read any type of book in which these subjects appear and 9 times out of 10, will love it; even if it is a genre or type of book I normally hate. These special frames in and of themselves give me great enjoyment.
It is also important to note that some people's favorite frames are the same frame which another reader will avoid at all costs. For example, while I will read anything with a circus in it my colleague Joyce Saricks avoids circuses in her books at all costs. I also have patrons who love British Mysteries and others who refuse to read them. Literally, they refuse, even if I know they would love the book; they will not read British mysteries...period.
So today, let me know: What special frames do you like to have show up in your books? Also, what frames do you avoid at all costs? Today is the day to own up to your reading quirks.
And remember, you can use this link to follow past Monday Discussions.
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