Books while you wait

To paraphrase the great Jane Austen, it is a truth universally acknowledged that a new release book by a popular author — or a book that has received rave reviews — will have an enormous hold list.

You know how it goes: The latest Lee Child book, or the latest literary critical darling like “Pachinko” or “Little Fires Everywhere,” hits the shelves. You place a hold and think, “A-ha! I’m on top of things! Soon, this in-demand new book will be mine!”

Then you discover you’re number 47 on the hold list.

The librarians here at Princeton Public Library work hard to ensure that we order multiple copies of hot new releases. But even multiple copies are no match for the likes of a “Becoming” or a “Hillbilly Elegy” or a “Lincoln in the Bardo.”

Enter our first-floor readalike display.

You may have noticed this display at the first-floor Checkout Desk, or where it resides now, at the self pick-up hold shelves. The purpose of this display is to highlight high-demand titles and suggest similar titles — or “readalikes” — that you may want to read or watch while waiting for your hold to become available.

The featured title for the current display is “Milkman” by Anna Burns, which just won the Man Booker Prize. The Lending Services staff has compiled a list of books and films that are similar to “Milkman” in content, tone, character, style or setting, as well as books that are also literary award-winners. The staff keeps this display stocked, and you should feel free to grab an item from it if one catches your eye.

In addition, if you think of readalikes we should add to our list, please feel free to stop by the Checkout Desk and suggest a title or two to us. We are always eager for customer feedback and to learn about books we may not have yet discovered. And if you ever need readalikes for any title, please come to the Welcome Desk, Information Desk or Checkout Desk and ask our staff for suggestions!

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