For as far back as I can remember, I have strongly believed that libraries are just about the coolest places around. I love the books, the ambience, the possibilities. But I have come to realize that one of the most unsung yet greatest parts about libraries is their librarians. Intelligent, helpful, bookish, they are great sources of information. I have received many excellent book recommendations over the years from thoughtful librarians, especially Dunce One, aka The World’s Strongest Librarian.
Live feedback is always better, and I will continue to frequent libraries and pester librarians for as long as I possess the ability to breathe and move about. But I have just discovered maybe the most amazing new library concept ever.
Here’s the deal. Go to this page on the Central Rappahannock Regional Library website. Type in your name and email address (I don’t think you need to be a card-holding member of the library; it’s physically located in the eastern part of Virginia, so many of us would be out of luck).
You then fill out an “I want a book like” section identifying the book by title and author, fill in three words identifying your “Your perfect book match” (e.g. “academic love secret” or “violent cupcake fantasies”), and ABRACADABRA:
Almost just as awesome, many of these lists already exist in their archives, categorized by most recent and most popular. So if, for example, you just read The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, and you’re desperate for more, you can search their archives, and find five great recommendations. There is even a search box in the archives to help you find out if the book you’re thinking about requesting recommendations for already has a generated list.
I know my not-so-inner book nerd is totally showing at this point, but I am nothing short of giddy over this mind-blowing resource (as if I didn’t already have enough books on my to-read list).
I am going to peruse the archives, and then type in some of my favorite books, if there is not already a list. I will come back here and post my results. There may be other resources like this out there, and I would love to hear about them. Also please let me know if you check out this site and find anything good. Something tells me that it may have somewhat of a “down the rabbit hole” effect. If I get a good list of recommendations on some of my favorites (The Catcher in the Rye, Gone Girl, The Sense of an Ending, The Secret History), you may never see or hear from me again. But that’s a risk I’m willing to take.