Category Archives: Book Clubs

Shades of Grey Ad Nauseam

A few months back I was asked about placing a hold on the title pictured to the left. I couldn’t find it in the Library system, nor was it to be found in any academic library to be order inter-library loan. Oh well, wait, or borrow it from a friend, or buy it.

A public library fulfills the needs of the  community it services. We get a budget, and although in these economic times slashed as it may be, it must be used to stock the shelves with books and media that circulates in our service area. When more than 3 people put a written request in for a title, we buy it, because that’s what is requested.

There are presently over 700 patron requests for this title system wide. Tax payer dollars are being spent to put this book on the shelf. Now, this book is not The Help, Cutting For Stone, or The DaVinci Code. It’s a fan-fiction take off of the Twilight series, it has extreme sexual behavior and it has a very specific reader group, and believe me when I tell you it is by NO means “like any other love story we have on the shelves”  (as one adamant patron said to me when she was disappointed that we didn’t have a copy to lend).  It’s gotten to the point that when I fill a hold for any title that has the words “shades” or “grey” in it I inwardly hope the requester is not expecting this book and they just didn’t want to ask for help. By the way it is a series, there are two more to the trilogy.

Why doesn’t anyone donate their trilogy to the Library? That way the needs of the few does not spend the tax dollars of the many. I’ll take your donation,  just put it in a brown paper bag please.


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Oprah Said So

It’s funny how life is cumulative.

For instance, my career, prior to my present career as a librarian, was as a Graphic Designer. It was my job to create images, along with a copywriter with a clever tag line, to move product. I did it everyday and loved every moment of it, and no, I am not going into why I changed my career, at least not now, that’s another topic.  What my point is here is that I still am doing basically the same thing, in a different realm: the library

When someone asks me what’s a good book to read, I can launch into what I have read, what is popular, what the latest book the book club is reading, I consult Novelist (no, sorry I wasn’t able to skim our entire fiction, and non fiction collection in order to give first hand reader-advisory) but all I need to do is walk past the Oprah  reading selections and my job is done.

If I were to tell you that Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina was not on the shelf for months after I stuck it on Oprah’s display, you would never believe me. You can’t make this stuff up. 836 pages. Circle of life: I’m still in the marketing business.

A couple of good books that I found interesting, and dealt with just this phenomena of popularity and trends are:

Malcom Gladwell’s The Tipping Point and Chip Heath’s Made to Stick.

But when it comes to getting a book to move off the shelf, or at least to get someone to notice it, Oprah says  it all with just a little book mark sticking out of the top.


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Filed under Book Clubs, Library, Reader Advisory