professornana (professornana) wrote,

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I loved watching CHEERS. It was a place "where everybody knows your name," where you walk in and everyone calls out, NORM!" It was a place of belonging. And to me it epitomizes what readers' advisory should be. Let me explain why I am off on an 80s TV kick this morning. Not a week goes by that I do not have an email or tweet or message asking me to recommend some books. Obviously, I am happy to share book recommendations (if you follow this blog you know I will do this to complete strangers). I do book talks in exhibit booths at conferences (unsolicited) and in bookstores and libraries and airports. Basically, if there is a willing war, I am happy to talk books.

However, I want to know a little something about the reader in question before I simply list out books. If you have a less-than-enthusiastic middle schooler, tell me more: what has this person read and liked? disliked? Do they have interests, preferences for form and format? Hobbies? In other words, tell me more, so that I can put together some recommendations that honor the individual. Not all reluctant readers like the same things in books (though I can make some generic observations). Length is not always a factor. Gender does not always play a role. Nor does age. Reading ability may or may not influence choices.

Doing a good job of recommending books means knowing something about the reader.
Tags: recommending books

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