Guess what task I have been assigned at the library where I work? I was thrilled when I was asked to curate a small new collection of books for our library patrons made up purely of popular fiction. These are books meant to be leisure reading for our students, faculty and staff who need a little break from their studies and research. I began selecting books in the summer and once my initial money was spent it was approved that I could have my own small budge to continue refreshing the collection. I even have my own special fund code so I can track expenses.
I've worked in an academic library for more than fifteen years now and have always envied the librarians who get to do selecting for their collections. I never imagined I might be able to do more than order books and pay invoices (books chosen by others) and only occasionally request that something be ordered (luckily our librarians are very good about approving patron/staff suggestions). So, all the books you see here were my choices. I've been trying to track materials to see what is circulating. Usually there is about a third of the collection circulating at any one time. Most popular titles seem to be thrillers and science fiction/fantasy. I wonder if I should even be the tiniest bit flattered (well, maybe not) that a book or two has grown feet and walked off (that would be with the help of someone sneaking it out of the building . . .) it appealed so much to someone.
The challenge, of course, is making sure I am ordering a variety of titles, authors and genres so there are books to appeal to every taste (and not just my own!). I do lots of browsing of reviews and bestseller lists. My only parameters are that the book must be fairly recently published, in paperback and a book that we would not normally hold in our academic collection. So it is pretty free reign and I try and ask for suggestions from the librarians a student workers. Now that I have a small set budget I will be scrutinizing my own choices very closely. I am always open to suggestions, so if you have a favorite popular fiction title (any genre and I am especially always looking for science fiction/fantasy since I don't tend to read that genre) do share.
There are several small sofas and chairs in the area, too, and I am always pleased to see a patron with one of the books pulled out and reading while they have a break between classes. The next best thing to buying myself a new book is buying one for another reader to discover!