Currently reading…

I wanted to become a librarian to help people, to make a difference and to be part of a larger community. I’m curious by nature, love to learn and often find myself in the “wormhole” of a research inquiry – and enjoying every minute of it. I’m sure the same rings true for my colleagues at Princeton Public Library, but our love for libraries usually begins in one place – the books. Our book collection makes up a large part of the library’s physical space and is the centerpiece of many other initiatives and programs, from our annual Summer Reading Program to author talks.

We are always eager to offer suggestions to readers, sharing books on specific themes and topics through displays and book lists. In fact, we don’t always get to talk about books as much as we’d like to and we love to hear about what you’re enjoying too. While we do have a staff picks display on the first floor and many book lists to match, I thought it would be fun to learn about what library staff are currently reading. 

I spent time roaming the library and approaching my colleagues and learned they are reading books from a variety of age ranges and genres from picture books to adult contemporary fiction, travel books and cooking to finance and crime, both fictional and true. They are reading print books, and about half are utilizing our eLibrary. Many are listening to book during their commute and reading a physical books at other times. 

Nora is listening to Uncanny Vows via hoopla and Kristin is listening to Mercury via Libby. Martha is listening to Land of the Forgotten Girls while driving and then sits down to read Accountable by Daska Slater. Cheryl is listening to three audiobooks at the moment while Aumma is reading and listening to the same book, Hello Beautiful by Ann Napalitano. Susan is listening to The Women by Kristin Hannah (and loving it!) while Karen and Ellen are sinking their teeth into books that are hundreds of pages long. Michelle is reading true crime in Who Killed Jane Sandford? while Sundari is reading the travel book Here Not There, wishfully thinking and planning for future trips. 

While some are reading for the fun and far-away stories, others are reading with the specific goal in mind. Cliff and Andre are busy reading their emails and spreadsheets while Ji Hae is reading Best Essays to Get Into College to assist her teenage daughters with college applications. Anna is learning about finance with Your Best Financial Life and Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Erica is listening to two books while reading Charlie Brown books with her young children. Speaking of children’s books, Rhiannon is reading Beezus and Ramona and “about 80 picture books in three weeks” for an early literacy class in her Library and Information Science master’s program. 

While librarians learn about forthcoming books directly from publishers, our own programming and services also give us great ideas for books we want to read as well. Amanda is reading Kween, a book she became excited about after hearing the author speak at the library’s Epic Pride Author Panel and Kim is reading The Light Eaters after learning about it at our recent Publishers’ Summer Book Buzz held last month. Sometimes future programming inspires reading. Mimi just read Chomp Goes the Alligator at a library Story Time (she reads James by Percival Everett in her spare time) and Janie is reading The Stolen Child by Ann Hood in advance of the Summer Reading Soiree on July 10 for which the author will be featured. 

And me? Well, I’m knee-deep in many books at the moment, reading The English Understand Wool for the upcoming Fiction Book Group meeting and There, There for the All Access Book Group meeting, both on July 11. And, based on the urging and recommendations of many colleagues, I’m picking up Pride and Prejudice for the first time.

When I first started this blog post, my intention was to share books library staff are reading. However, as I was talking with my colleagues about their current picks, I began to notice two things. First, books bring people together. We love to talk about books and share the stories we are immersed in. As a Book Sanctuary, we encourage everyone in our community to read whatever they want, and that starts with us. Second, the library’s vision is to be “a vital cornerstone of community connection, where curiosity and wonder flourish.” We are more than books. We are places of refuge with warm, welcoming buildings. We have services to help foster learning, creativity and enrichment. We offer programs for the sharing of information and pure enjoyment. We are part of your extended family and take pride in our services, services that we also use and value. 

For more recommendations, visit our full list of what Princeton Public Library staff are Currently Reading. And stop by the library and ask us. We’re here to help. 

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash.

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