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Friday, February 19, 2016
How Keeping Track of What You Are Reading Can Help You Be Better At Your Job
Sometimes a backlist title comes back to you for the weirdest reasons. That is the impetus behind today's post.
I was looking back through the archives of this blog as research for an article I am currently writing, when I came upon my 2014 review of The Bees by Laline Paull. Reading the review again, a few things hit me.
First, that book is still so vivid to me. I was shocked to see that I read it 2 years ago!
Second, after coming upon it a few days ago, I found myself with an opportunity to book talk it to a potential reader just yesterday. If I hadn't been reminded of it so recently, by seeing my own review, I never would have remembered the book at that exact moment.
Third, after the situation where I was hand selling The Bees because I came upon my review serendipitously, I went back and started looking through ALL of my What I'm Reading older posts. I was then shocked again by the number of books I had read AND reviewed yet barely have any memory of. Without those reviews these titles would have been lost to me forever, and that would have been a shame because there were some gems hiding in there.
Which led to this final thought-- I spent just a little bit of time documenting what I had read and some key appeal issues about those titles right after reading these books and now I have hundreds of titles saved in an easy to search database. I can pull the reviews up and use them to help connect a reader with their next great read. And it wasn't hard to do. I was simply conscientious about writing down something about the books I read, just like it says to do in Rule 4 of my 10 Rules of Basic RA Service.
Imagine what you could do with the compound interest of RA knowledge you could create all on your own if you started writing down a few key adjectives about what you have read. Look at me. I am living by example and even I cannot believe the wealth of information I have created all by myself.
And now, armed with these pre-made book talks, I can go conquer the world....or at least anyone looking for a good read.
I am a Librarian [MLIS] in Illinois specializing in serving leisure readers ages 13 and up. I train library staff all over the world on how to match books with readers through their local public library. I am the author of The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Horror, 2d edition (ALA Editions, 2012). I am under contract to write content for EBSCO's NoveList database, reviews for Booklist, am a member of the Adult Reading Round Table Steering Committee, a 5 term Trustee for my local library, and am a proud member of The Horror Writers' Association. Check out the side bar for links to the groups and organizations with which I am affiliated.