More books than ever are being published. With subscription models touting tens of thousands of titles and libraries housing tens of thousands of books on their physical and digital shelves, discoverability has become increasingly important in the book world. Recommendation engines and teams of merchandisers look at a person’s data—what the consumer has bought, what they’ve browsed through, what their interests are—and recommend titles to them. Some retailers have created and mastered recommendation engine algorithms. Call me old-fashioned, but to me, there is nothing better than going to the library, walking up to the information desk and talking books with a librarian. I always walked away with books I would have never chosen for myself—but which I often loved more than my go-to authors.
The perfect combination promotes both librarian recommendations and discoverability—lucky for us, this exists. Library Reads partners with librarians, book experts, and publishers. Their mission is, “To help connect our favorite books to as many readers as possible! And we want to showcase the incredible power that public library staff has in helping to build word-of-mouth for new books, and the important role we play in creating audiences for all kinds of authors.” Library Reads publishes monthly lists of librarians’ top 10 picks publishing that month. There are also blurbs from librarians recommending each title. One of the reasons why I love this list is that recommendations are often midlist content or debut authors. There are, of course, recognizable, New York Times bestselling authors on the list—but only those that produce quality content.
My Favorite 2014 Library Reads Selections:
Lucky Us by Amy Bloom
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Landline by Rainbow Rowell
Summer House with Swimming Pool by Herman Koch
Delicious! by Ruth Reichl
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
And the Dark Sacred Night by Julia Glass
The Divorce Papers by Susan Rieger
The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick
The Kept by James Scott
The First True Lie by Maria Mander