"at your library" in the north island eagle: happy new year and happy book lists

Happy New Year and Happy Book Lists

2020 was such a difficult year. Most of us were not sorry to see it go! Your library is here for you, dreaming of a time when we can open our doors wide and welcome everyone back inside.

Do you ever wonder what to read next?

Do you ever want to learn about a specific topic but you don’t know where to start?

Librarians have lots of tips and tricks to help you find what you’re looking for. For my next few columns, I’ll be sharing lists of books on various topics and themes. Some of these lists will be strictly for pleasure reading. Some will be useful resources on a particular topic. 

If you have an idea or a request for a book list topic, drop me a line at lkaminker@virl.bc.ca, or leave a note at the library when you pick up your holds. I promise to make a list for you!

Librarians at the Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) have already created many book lists to help you find your next great read. You can find them online at bit.ly/virl-booklists, or you can ask for print copies at your favourite VIRL branch.

Another way to find your next read is NoveList Plus. NoveList Plus is an e-resource that is all about finding books to enjoy. When you first login, you’ll see the words “I'm in the mood for books that are...”. You can choose from adult, teen, ages 9-12, or ages 0-8, in categories such as “bittersweet and compelling,” “sweeping and dramatic,” “funny and own voices,” among many others.

On the left, you’ll see a menu of genres, such as mysteries, historical, romance, and science fiction. Then each genre breaks down further. Historical fiction, for example, has more than 15 sub-categories, including Dear Diary, World War II, Royal Reads, Family Sagas, and Discovery and Exploration in Fiction.

One fun NoveList Plus category is called “For Fans Of”. If you watch Netflix or borrow DVDs, you’ll recognize many of these – For Fans of Ozark, For Fans of Sherlock, For Fans of Outlander, Fans of The Umbrella Academy, and so on.

Another source to find your next great read is through book review websites. The largest of these sites is Goodreads.com, which is owned by Amazon. At Goodreads, readers share reviews, thoughts, and opinions on what they’ve read. You don’t have to join or post reviews in order to use the site. You can just jump on for ideas any time. There are many book review websites that you may not have tried, such as Book Riot (my personal favourite) Bookish, and Book Lists. 

If you like to learn by video, there’s a corner of YouTube affectionately known as BookTube. BookTube features people who are love to read, reviewing books by video. Some popular BookTubers are Climb the Stacks, Little Book Owl, RinceyReads, and Better Than Food. To find these and so many others, go to YouTube and type in one of these names – or type “Book Tubers” and see what comes up.

If you need help with any of these ideas – and of course to request any book title – stop by your favourite VIRL branch. We’re here to help.

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