from the archive

Author: Andre Levie

Princeton’s living room

The hectic holiday season is finally over and before I start working on my new year's resolutions (all of which I will break by the end of the month) I need to relax. Unfortunately the only spot to relax in my house is usually covered with my kid's Legos, toy trains, and half-finished craft projects. Once again the library comes to the rescue! There are nooks all over the building with comfy chairs perfect for reading and relaxing. I want to point out three of my favorite spots and invite everyone to take some time to just sit and chill (or warm up) here at PPL.

2012 Princeton “bestsellers”

We are quickly approaching the end of 2012 and there is no shortage of best-books-of-the-year lists. I hope you will bear with me for a few more lists of the most popular books this past year at the Princeton Public Library. Below are four categories of the top 10 highest-circulating fiction, nonfiction, children's fiction, and children's nonfiction books.
Starting with fiction, I'm not surprised to see the list dominated by mysteries and suspense novels but I am happy to see one famous local author.

Window shopping

Not sure what to get your bibliophile friend or relative for the holidays? How about a beautiful book? The coffee table tomes listed below are designed to be savored and look best in traditional paper. The sheer size and details of the illustrations are too much for most tablets or e-readers. If you want to test drive one of these before purchasing I suggest you check out our big books table in New Nonfiction area on the first floor of the library. You can see the table from one of our windows facing Witherspoon Street.

Window shopping

One of the greatest things about Princeton is that it's a walkable town. As anyone who has lived almost anywhere else in the United States could tell you this is a rare and wonderful thing. About a month ago, I was taking advantage of the walking possibilities here and came across a fantastic outer-space themed display at my favorite toy store, jaZams. As I was window shopping I had a "eureka!" moment: I should use my ground floor window space at the library to promote some of our new and amazing acquisitions!

Frozen music

Since I was very young I've been fascinated by architecture. Architecture has famously been described by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe as frozen music, but I prefer to think of it as sculpture that we inhabit. The people who spend any time in this library are fortunate to inhabit an incredible building designed by the local firm Hillier Architecture. 

Princeton 2012 top 40

In my last post I counted down the top 40 music CDs for ALL TIME here at the library. These CDs had the highest circulation since we started counting with our current system way back in 1999. The list was interesting but also skewed towards music we have been owned for years as more time to circulate often leads to higher circulation numbers. I promised to do another list based just on circulation for 2012 and here it is!

Princeton music top 40

As a child of the 70s I looked forward to Casey Kasem's weekly (and cheesy) countdown of the top 40 hits of the nation. Flash forward a few decades and here I am: in charge of purchasing the music for this spectacular library. Today I get to be Casey and count down the most popular CDs in our collection…but not just for this week, for all time!

Video games at PPL

You probably know that the library has a vast selection of books, audiobooks, and DVDs for all ages…but did you know that we also have video games? In my next few posts to this blog I will highlight some of our lesser-known collections.This post was contributed by our own Network/Systems Adminstrator and video game selector Shaun Pall.

What the heck is that?

Why do we create? What compels us to make things (art, music, crafts) when there is often no material gain or credit in it for us?
There's a whole branch of philosophy devoted to aesthetics. I took a bit of philosophy in college but I am at a loss to explain the object pictured above.

Indie book buzz

Recently I attended a fantastic presentation for librarians hosted by the Association of American Publishers covering forthcoming independent books.  The event highlighted titles by over 20 smaller, independent publishers (i.e. not the "Big Six": HarperCollins, Macmillan, Hachette, Penguin, Random House, and Simon & Schuster) and was particularly useful because we librarians might miss some of these less-publicized yet truly worthwhile books.
Here is my idiosyncratic list of a few nonfiction titles that caught my eye, and might catch yours.