This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Order Up

One of the best features of the Wake County Library System is the ability to 'order' a book. That is, if it's in the catalog, you can request the book.

It may take a day or two, depending on where the book is located, but if it's not lost or had a large queue, you'll get it. And it's delivered to the library of your choice, again, no matter where the book is located (within Wake County).

Once I discovered this feature, I have not turned back. You have to have a Wake County library card, a PIN number, and ta-da, you can do this on-line.

My method of madness is this: I add all the books that interest me into a list. I'm up to two lists now. The books I choose come from many places: stuff recommended to me by friends, reviews from various places on the net or written media. More often, my choices come fro the Wake County Library monthly newsletters on featured books of different genres. My other most often used media for choosing books is the Quail Ridge Books & Music e-mail list.

I read the basic premise of the book, maybe even look it up on Amazon. If it sounds good, it gets added to my book list. I have about 97 items that span two lists.

Then, I randomly choose a couple of books. It's hard to restrain myself to just two, but I can't read that fast. Well, I could, but it's finding the time to devote myself to the book that is hard.

The point is, I know that I have filtered a list of books into my own personal list of items that interest me. These books will span several areas -- from fiction to non, from mystery to whatever.

So when I request a book or two, it is somewhat random. Often I ask my kids for a letter in the alphabet or a number, and find a book that starts with the letter or count to the number -- and then those are the books that get requested.

This is fun for me because I don't really know what genre the book is until I start reading it. Sure, most of the time the book cover or the title is a giveaway, but not always.

And yes, this method has had me read quite a few books that just didn't do it for me, but for whatever warped reason, it doesn't sway me to modify this method, or from having somewhat enjoyment in the element of surprise.

But the one thing it has done that I do appreciate is that it has me venturing out of my usual 'comfort' zone of books, and authors, I usually hone in on to read.

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