Friday, October 13, 2017

6 Ways To "Read" More Books For RA

What to do when your library doesn't pay you to read? Or, perhaps they do allow you to read on the clock, but you can't get through all of the books you are interested in? Reader's Advisory is part of your job, but keeping up with it all can seem overwhelming. Fortunately, we have a few tricks to help you out:

1. Spoilers Sweetie

Spoilers, Sweetie is a website you can visit for spoilers for award winners. It isn't the end all, but knowing what the story is about (and any potential red flags) is a good starting point! Then pick up the book and get a good feel for the story.

2. Speedread

Learn the art of speedreading. Basically, take a book off the shelf, read the first chapter, middle chapter and last chapter. That'll give you a good basic idea about the book. For more details, check out Georgine Olson's handy tips on this: chrome-extension://gbkeegbaiigmenfmjfclcdgdpimamgkj/views/app.html. I've also heard the recommendation reading the first 50 pages (or first chapter) of every new book.  

3. Document, Document, Document

If you don't have a great memory for books, then you may find it handy to keep a spreadsheet or perhaps something like a Goodreads account of all the books you read and important details about them. You can also use this technique just pulling information from book reviews. Just knowing genre, age group, red flags, and a book talk can be REALLY helpful. Bonus points if you can think of readalikes to include in your list.

4. Ask For Recommendations

What are your patrons' favorite reads? Ask them when they visit and check those out. Chances are, they'll find books you haven't heard of that are great. Don't forget to talk to your fellow librarians, too. Or check out this awesome website, BookQuest.

5. Create Book Lists

Take the time out to make (or look up) book lists. What are the readalikes for your popular titles? (If you don't know what circulated well, run a report to find out!) Can you list five titles for every genre? We previously wrote an article about RA resources that'll help you build these lists:

6. Follow the Top Goodreads Reviewers

Goodreads shares a list of the top reviewers in the world and in your country. Check them out and see if they cover your age group. They are the best for a reason -- their reviews are very detailed and on target. Very helpful for when you don't have the time to read a book or want to learn about something not in mainstream.

Do you have any additional tips to share? We'd love to hear about them.

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