Friday, July 04, 2008

Grab Bag

If you've read these confessions for awhile, you know that I keep track of my To Be Read books in a blue journal. (It's always blue. Don't ask me why.) Given the disparate rates of my book-reading and my recommendation-accepting, the thing is almost on its third co-existing volume. Being an anal librarian (bit redundant there), I have to proceed through it in order (except for the exceptions).

I often forget what the book is about, so when it finally makes the top spot, I sometimes look at it and go, "Why did I want to read this?"

Sometimes the answer is in the author. (Well, duh, it's Sharon Creech. Of course I wanted to read it.) Or the title. (Zombie Blondes? Shoot, I rushed to put that in the blue journal so fast I think I pulled something.) But most of the time, I took a recommendation from some webpage, blogger, or even library patron--I forget who--and I'm sticking my hand in the grab bag by putting the request in the library system.

I flip through my blue journal and ponder the pages upon pages of titles and authors. Sometimes there's a publication date, but no more information than this. Is this book a picture book? An affecting tale of parental alcoholism? A book in verse? A madcap adventure? I'll never know until the request comes through and the book lands in my hot little hands.

From that point, they have the same chance as every other book--novels get fifty pages to grab me (or 25, if they're short), and picture books are flipped through on the reference desk.

The result is that I have a ridiculously sprawling sampling of books in both my blue Journal and my LibraryThing account (the latter status reserved for those books that survived the fifty page rule). I'm glad I'm a librarian, because there are only a few professions that reward such broad literary experience.

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