I was listening to David McCullough’s book The Greater Journey about Americans going to Paris. There was a part about the doctors in Paris that I thought my dad would really have liked. That got me thinking about giving books as gifts and how easy it was to find something for my father, even though he frequently visited 2-3 libraries a week on the Cape. I knew him well enough to know what books he would like — that was a really good feeling. While I was less successful finding books for my mother, it was a treat to find one to share with her. Two of us once gave her Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese.
It’s much easier now to share books you like with people. In the library catalog, there is a Facebook link to “like” a book on your Facebook page. With the NextReads newsletter, you can click on a link to email the suggestion to someone. And, of course, Amazon has a variety ways of sharing the titles you are looking at.
Library staff has been recommending books by putting blue stars on the spine. Collectively as a staff we’ve recommended over 400 books this way. You can place holds on our most popular favorites with our Next Reads Newsletter.
Many people have subscribed to GoodReads which allows you to write reviews and rate the books you read. We have patrons come in with titles they have read about through GoodReads that aren’t even in our system.
On the Saturday before the Super Bowl I have been hosting at the Library a Book Pot Luck. The participants provide me with a list of books that they have really liked (not current bestsellers) that I can order ahead of time and then we talk about the books we’ve liked. It’s a good way of finding out about older books that you may not know about. Send me an email or give me a call if you’d like to recommend a book or two.