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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

How to Use RA for All: What I’m Reading

Today in my "How to Use RA for All” series, I want to familiarize you with the hundreds of appeal based reviews I have available on this site as well as hundreds more book discussion titles with details notes of what was discussed. Actually, a quick perusal of the reviews, written by me, that I have available between both blogs [including mini-reviews] puts the number of options around 1,000.

First, I am going to explain to you why my reviews are more useful to you as you help readers in the wild at the service desk than the reviews by others and then I will give you the links to access everything.

I do not write a review to tell you why a book is good or bad. Rather, I share what makes the title in question suited to its best reader. My focus is on why someone would like it and how you can most easily articulate that to the patron in front of you. I care about getting the book in the hands of a reader who will enjoy it. My opinion is not part of that equation.

I also work very hard to give you a wide range of readalikes for every title. Often just mentioning a readalike is all you need to hand sell a title to a potential reader. In fact, if your patron has a favorite author, type their name into the search bar in the top left corner of the blog and see what shows up. You may find a rabbit hole of options.

And that is the point of my reviews- to use them to actually match a book with a reader, and quickly. Patrons often just need a reason to give a book try. A readalike minion alone can be all you need to nudge them to check out a title.

Every review also has “Three Words That Describe A Book” to help you cut to the chase on the essence of the feel of the book. Every review is appeal based, not plot based. What happens doesn’t matter, it is how the story is told which determines if the reader will enjoy it or not. These three words are the most glaring appeal factors, but the entire review focuses on the feel of the book first and foremost.

I don’t like very book I read, but I can assess and articulate why someone else would and that is really the crux of our work. We are not here to judge the books or the readers. We are here to help expose readers to the books they would love if only they knew about them. I like to tell people that I am a matchmaker between that book languishing on the shelf and its perfect reader. If only the two knew of each other’s existence. My reviews are a way to reach across that void.

You will also see that I read diversely, across genres and from various points of view. I also read graphic novels and listen to audiobooks. I do not only read books about middle class, white, jewish, married ladies from urban American settings with kids [me]. Actually, I rarely read books about that come to think of it. Ha.

I read across the landscape of options for myself because I enjoy it, but I also know that by writing these easy to use reviews, we can all use them to connect readers with a diverse set of offering.

Okay, so that is my reviewing philosophy.  Here is how you can easily access all of my reviews:

  • What I’m Reading Tag: This will pull up 334 and counting posts of books I have read and written about at length. Many of these posts contain a review of more than 1 book.
    • All of these posts contain at least 3 readalikes for each title [see above on the use of readalikes with patrons]. 
  • Book Discussion Books: This tag pulls up all of my posts on this topic but the majority are notes on the discussion of specific books by a group I led. These cannot be used as quickly as the books in the previous category but for the patron who wants a little more information about the title in question, they are perfect.
  • Horror Review Index: On the horror blog I have an alphabetical [by author] index of every horror book I have reviewed.
  • Becky’s Original Horror Content: I have many annotated lists of horror books and articles about books.
Even I don’t remember every book I have read and I often surprise myself when searching the archives. If there is a book or author you want more information about, try typing it into the search bar in the top left corner of this blog and see if I have had anything to say about it.

But most importantly, use what I say to help a reader find their next good read.

Tomorrow we will tackle how to use my presentations to help you, even if you never get the chance to see me in person.

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