What Should I Read Next?

Melissa Staff Image

I’m sure this will come as a shock to you, but library staff like to talk about books. I know, right?!? Who’d have thought?? But more importantly, library staff would like to talk to YOU about books.

Did you just read something that you loved and want to tell someone about it? We’re here with an ear to listen. We might have read it also and want to gush about it with you. Did you absolutely HATE a book and want to vent a little? We’re here for that too. Most importantly, we can take those loves, likes, hates, and couldn’t finishes and use that information to recommend your next read.

Many people are still unaware that part of the job of library staff is to provide reading recommendations. Yes, you can find people telling you what to read just about everywhere now – magazines, newspapers, online blogs, radio, and television will all make it known what book they think you should pick up next. But do any of those places ask you about YOUR reading preferences first, before suggesting a title? Here’s where we step in to help.

There are several ways you can ask for book recommendations (and movies and music too, btw).

If you happen to be in the neighborhood, feel free to drop in anytime the library is open and approach a library staff member. Just say, “I’m looking for a book to read. Do you have any suggestions?” and we’ll take it from there. If you’re more of the non-verbal type, you can fill out the online book recommendation form on our web site. A staff person will read the answers to your questions on the form and email you with several personalized selections. If you’re one of those digital-savvy people, you can message us on Facebook or tweet @CarnegieLibrary with the hashtag #MyNextRead and someone will respond appropriately. If you haven’t already told us a little about what you like, we’ll most likely ask you that and then tweet back links with title recommendations, so you can go ahead and request the titles in the library’s catalog right away!

If you’re more of a DIY person and you’d like to find your own reading recommendations, the library’s got you covered there too, in a variety of ways.

If you come into any of the CLP library locations, you know we’re constantly creating book displays. Library staff to try come up with interesting topics or themes related to current events and choose items from the collection to go along with those subjects. We may also highlight some almost-forgotten items. These displays are a great place to browse for something to take home. Library staff also create lots of booklists. You’ll find many of those at each location in paper form and also through the Staff Picks posted on our web site.

Through the library’s web site – you have access to NoveList. (Just search for it in the box at the top of our home page. Be sure you’re searching “This Site” and NOT the catalog!) This database is a treasure trove of book information. Want to know the next book in a series? You can search for that series and see all the titles in order. Want to browse a list of books that are “world-building and intricately plotted” or “character-driven and haunting”? Use NoveList’s “Appeal Mixer” to select phrases to zero in on exactly the kind of book you want to read. You can also just look up a title or author your like and view the list of read-alikes suggested for them.

We hope that next time you’re looking for that next great book, you think of the library as your first destination for recommendations. Happy Summer Reading!

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