Thursday, January 20, 2005

Little Old Ladies

I love little old ladies who come into the library. I especially like it when my idiot savant tendencies make them happy.

At my former job we actually had money. I got to spend it - a lot of it actually. I bought fiction for 7 different libraries. You know how many book reviews I read? A lot. You know how much reader's advisory you can fake just by reading reviews? A lot.

Reader's Advisory for those of you who don't know goes a little something like this:

Little Old Lady: Gee can you recommend a good book?
Librarian: What sort of books have you enjoyed in the past?
Little Old Lady: I like mysteries.
Librarian: What are some authors you've enjoyed in the past?
Little Old Lady: Author X, Author Y and Author Z.
Librarian: Do you like your mysteries light? Does violence in books bother you? Etc. etc. etc.

And so it goes until the librarian cooks up some suggestions in her happy little brain. Today the little old lady was trying to remember the name of an author she enjoyed in the past. She wanted to read more of her books. All she could recall is that they were mysteries, herbs played a part in them, and the stories took place in San Antonio. Trust me, that's a lot of information to go on. I can do something with that - unlike the "I read a book ten years ago and the cover was green" type of questions. So here is the answer I found, and the lady was so happy she must have thanked me 10 times before leaving the building.

On the other hand, another little old lady came in 10 minutes before closing looking for book suggestions. She wants something of substance dontcha know. That Barbara Kingsolver book she checked out and tried to read was too fluffy.

OK, what the hell am I supposed to do with this? Kingsolver is too fluffy?! I was half tempted to give her a book of funeral dirges. I hastily grabbed 3 books off the shelf (Oprah-esque type fiction picks) and told her to give them a whirl. Something tells me though that she'll be back very soon. Maybe I'll have an epiphany by then.

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