Friday, September 2, 2011

Reader's Advisory

One of the interesting and frustrating conundrums I face in writing a blog that is viewable by one and all on the Internet is measuring where to "draw the line."  It is probably safe to say that my writings are not that dangerous and offensive, at least in my own opinion. 

Every once in a while, I am tempted to take a risk and be a bit more "out there," but common sense and decency usually win out.  People could get hurt.  My employer could get angry and fire me.  Not that I am sharing trade secrets or anything, but it could "reflect poorly on the company." 

So I am thinking about trying to add a tab for reader's advisory on my blog.  "Reader's Advisory" is a librarian term, by the way and yes, I am misusing it a bit.  Technically, I am supposed to be able to speak to a patron and through a set of careful questions and lightening quick mental evaluation, I should be able to name some new books for them that they may like.  It's a bit like recommendations that are based on browsing and purchase history.

Although this makes me sound a bit teacher's pettish, I love to read.  Always have.  Always will.  It is really just a shame that something I like so much does so very little for one's physical well-being.  Other than relaxation and mental stimulation, it does nothing to improve the shape of one's backside.  What a shame.

Now I have a confession to make.  Despite the fact that I am training to be a librarian, I rarely utilize a library to obtain new reading material myself.  I buy books.  Over the years, I have accumulated quite a collection, and please note that I have no intention of donating or giving away any of them in the near future.  I know there are people who can read things once and never touch them again.  This does not work for me. 

I love knowing that I can revisit a book any time I want, provided that I can find it.  You see, I have run out of bookshelf space.  When I daydream, I imagine that I have divested my second bedroom of the common furniture (bed, dresser, etc.) that currently resides within and turned it into my own private library, complete with tall bookshelves and comfy seating. 

At this point, the only thing holding me back is the uncertainty of my future career.  I hesitate to put much remodel effort into a room that I may not be able to utilize one year from now.  If it turns out that my new job enables me to stay in my present location, I may take that step.  After all, it's not like I really NEED a fully equipped second bedroom.  No one has slept in there in years.

In a well-intentioned attempt to catalog my collection, I signed up for an online community called Library Thing.  It's a great idea, but entering everything is time consuming and involves locating and retrieving all my books from their various hiding places, which includes large bins stacked in closets.  If only I could have them all in my centrally located library, I could just bring my laptop in and do it all in one place.  Someday...

If I learned anything from the Library Thing experiment, it is that I have no interest in providing you with a list of all the books I have read.  Far better to just start in the moment with my most recent completed item.

So for that purpose, I am going to try and navigate the template settings for this blog and see what I can do.  Keep an eye out for changes.  Also, if you haven't noticed, I added a little "fun" reaction gadget to the end of all my entries so that you can rate what I write about.  I apologize that the options are pre-chosen (by me), but if you have any ideas of what would be better to use in these categories, please let me know.  It does not appear that anyone has used them yet, so I am a little sad. 

To summarize, I love books, watch for changes on my blog, and for goodness sakes, give me some reactions!!

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