Above is a question that all those who have worked in libraries are asked many times. It is a question that I always answer with more questions. What do you regard as a good story? is one of the questions I often ask back. More information comes from me asking the students to tell me about the books they have enjoyed, the tv or films they chose to watch, the games they like to play. These are all examined before I can even begin to answer.
Over the two weeks so far this term, I have spent a lot of time assisting our students find something to read for the wider reading program. Many English classes are studying a film text this term but have to continue with some regular reading, both at home and for 10-15 minutes most English classes.
All our school library staff help students (and staff) not just find what the book they are looking for but also help them discover books they are not aware of or haven’t heard about. This is still a valuable service to our readers. Find the right book for them and these students/staff may become part of you “good” or regular readers.
We have a digital space and offer e-books and databases and have pointers to reading and various guides, a blog and reviews. Whilst they can find out about books any number of ways , we know that there are still many in our community who like personal attention and a conversations as they look for a book. They also often like the tactile experience of reading a printed book. They still like how the book feels and smells.
There are others who just love the stories. These students want nothing more than to get their hands on the story, in whatever format. This is especially so of books in series. There are many of our boys who read “safely”. They are not confident readers and they would rather re-read a book they have read and liked before than try a new one that they may not like. Series have been a great boon for us as we can find books for them to read. By reading through a series our boys often find a level of success that we use to get them on to other novels with a similar theme or style. Success breeds confidence and we can build on this as we get to know our readers.
Of course there are many good readers, including the staff, who love to read series. They build a connection to the characters, the settings and/or enjoy the author’s writing style. I am collecting my thoughts on a number of popular YA series that I have been reading over the last month and will write more about them soon.
The infographic below tries assist with the definition of the ‘perfect’ book. A piece of literature that pleases a broad crowd with the bestselling books having just under four hundred pages. Men are more likely to read science fiction and a story with a male protagonist. However a publication with women protagonists are much more likely to become a bigger hit. Books still seem to have a huge market, be they in digital form or in print, for the moment at least, e-book have not killed off paperbacks rather they co-exist.