Library staff hears this question dozens of times every day: “Can you recommend a book for me to read next?” With 24 staff members, each with diverse backgrounds and tastes, none of us answer this question in the same way. While we are surrounded by thousands of books all day long, we don’t know every title on the shelves, nor have we read all of them.
To get to know the tastes of our patrons, we ask what types of books they like. When they return their selections, we ask them about the plot, the characters, and whether they liked that particular book or author. We store this information in our memory databanks. For some of us like myself who need a memory upgrade and can’t retain all that information anymore, we are fortunate to have some tricks of the trade to find what to read next. Library users have access to these same resources through our website, leavenworthpubliclibrary,org, in the “Find Your Next…” menu, as well as through the online [NEXT] catalog.
Novelist is a service that is very helpful in recommending books that are similar to other books. You can access it through our website or in the NEXT catalog. If you like dystopian action adventures or cozy cat mysteries, you just type a description in the search bar, and voilà, you get several book selections meeting that description. If you like a particular author, you can find other authors who write in a similar style or category. If you are looking for a particular period of historical fiction, you just type that in, and several choices appear. You can search by reading level/age, plot, author and genre. You can be as specific or vague as you want, but the more detailed the search, the better the result.
We have also created reading lists in the NEXT catalog that are accessible through our website. When you click on a list, you will see books we have here locally in each category. These lists link directly to the catalog so you can place a hold on something of interest to you. We are planning to add more lists in the near future.
If you prefer to get reading recommendations emailed to you, you can subscribe to a NextReads newsletter. In addition to our weekly Library Newsletter that includes staff and patron recommendations, we have the following categories from which to choose:
- Audiobooks – bi-monthly
- Home, Garden and DIY – bi-monthly
- Kids’ Books – monthly
- LibraryReads – bi-monthly
- Picture Books – monthly, also includes our Storytime reading lists and early literacy parenting tips
- Teen Scene – monthly
- Thrillers and Suspense – bi-monthly
Our website has several other resources to help you pick your next book, such as award lists, the New York Times book section, prominent review organizations and popular book sites. We are always looking for new book ideas to add to our memory databases, so please share your findings with us the next time you come in to the library.