from the archive


Tag: reading


Reading the world


Image of a wall map covered in pins indicating travel

The Christmas when I was 12, my uncle gave my mother the audiobook tapes of “Angela’s Ashes” by Frank McCourt as a gift in our family exchange. She may have listened to the first tape once, but otherwise I don’t think she ever heard them, because I stole them away almost immediately. I began listening […]


Down the rabbit hole


Almost everyone is guilty of falling into an online rabbit hole at some point or another. Over the past few months, I’ve noticed my online behavior going from entering rabbit holes to carving out full rabbit burrows. Instead of a few hours following a trail, I’ve started to spend days or weeks linking one idea […]


This too shall pass


Am I good enough? What’s wrong with me? These questions, along with constant nervousness, stem from the paralyzing anxiety I deal with every day. Social situations can prove to be difficult and worrying about the smallest task is all too common. Struggling with anxiety is no easy task. It can cause me to lose focus, […]


Borrowed time


Watch face- borrowed time

One of the most commonly asked questions we receive is, “Can you show me how to download a book?” The library’s ebook collection has proven to be incredibly popular, as evidenced by the steadily increasing number of items borrowed each month. To many people, electronic copies of books feel magical. It can be hard to […]


Into the woods


Tree roots in the city

As my grandmother said, “A change of scene is as good as a rest.” With this in mind, a friend and I have been planning weekly lunch hour work breaks this summer to get in a rejuvenating hour somewhere other than the Witherspoon Street corridor, preferably outdoors. We managed to picnic in the Institute Woods, walk […]


Get out there and read


Reading gargoyle

My inbox has been deluged with summer reading recommendations– from publishers, from professional organizations, from other libraries and from some famous people. Taking a quick survey of summer reading lists I’ve been sent over the month of June (not counting the summer reading lists we have been busy making for adults, for kids and for teens), there are […]


Bookshop bliss


As an avid reader, my home is filled with books. Whether it is one bookshelf or five or a coffee table made out of stacks, there are piles of books in every nook and cranny. Old copies and new copies, leather-bound and paperbacks, first or signed editions, not yet read or spines broken from love, […]


Sylvia & Co.


“No one that I ever knew was nicer to me…she was delightful and charming and welcoming and behind her, as high as the wall and stretching out into the back room which gave onto the inner court of the building, were shelves and shelves of the wealth of the library.” -Ernest Hemingway, A MOVEABLE FEAST If […]


Teen books for adults and adult books for teens


What is a crossover book? In the publishing industry, a crossover book is one marketed toward either young adult (YA) readers or adult readers, but frequently read and enjoyed by both teens and adults. The Hunger Games trilogy is one particularly popular example. Check out this list of 15 crossover novels—all available at the Princeton Public Library! Daughter […]


It’s personal, isn’t it?


"If only life could be a little more tender and art a little more robust" Alan Rickman

What we take away from an experience can morph over time. The secrets we all carry still are ours, even when we reveal them. I wrote these two sentences with some recent reading recommendations, which follow, in mind. I’m also thinking about experiences my colleagues and I had this past month while attending Book Expo, […]


Memorable memoirs


In “The Art of Memoir“, Mary Karr writes that “memoir done right is an art, a made thing.” If memoirists are artists, their work is elucidated through truth, narrative, voice and vulnerability. Vulnerability is allowing yourself the opportunity to be open and honest, disguising your strength as weakness. It is a virtue that relies on […]


Popular truths


2nd Floor wishes

With the second floor closed for renovation, the majority of our non-fiction collection has been stored offsite this year. When the books moved out of the building this past June, we pledged to fulfill your requests for these items within two to three days of your holds being placed. We’ve delivered (literally) and we’ve had lots of compliments […]


Finding the award winners


When you’re visiting the library in search of a good read, we have several collections designed explicitly for that purpose, including Library Reads, Staff Picks, and Book Group collections. Located near the Welcome Desk on the first floor, these displays of grab-and-go books often showcase award-winning writing. You may not know that we also have some great online […]


Reading analog and digital


One of the questions I frequently answer is, “Do you like ebooks or print?” Usually, by intonation or strategically timed body language (rolling their eyes, pinching their nostrils, pantomiming gagging), the questioner makes it clear whether they are a Hatfield or McCoy. Am I a sentimental Flat Earth Luddite tree slayer? Or a techno futurist […]


It has to work


Like other sports fans, I often worry that watching and thinking about sports may be selfish and wasteful. I want the time I spend in the stands, watching television, reading articles, or listening to podcasts to have broader significance. I want my appreciation for sports to further my development as a moral being, critical thinker, and leader for meaningful causes.


Visit the library, you should


1977: a long time ago. Omaha, Nebraska: might as well be a galaxy far, far away. In a cavernous mid-century modern Cinerama theater, I saw "Star Wars" (later known as "Episode IV: A New Hope") for the first time. I was 10 years-old and completely enthralled by the story, the characters and the ground-breaking special effects.


Escape the everyday


We all crave an escape from our everyday concerns and routines – some experience or adventure to energize us or tilt our perspective away from the ordinary. I recently read an account of a friend’s unusual experience early one foggy morning. As she walked alone in her yard through the mist, she “felt comforted by unseen hands.” When she returned later, as the fog lifted, she found “thousands of glittering threads, a multitude of intricate webs… a message for me created by hundreds of baby spiders.”


What can I read next?


Looking for reading recommendations? We have a new resource for you: the LibraryReads collection, featuring ten new titles each month chosen by librarians across the country. Every month librarians nominate forthcoming books across all genres (including fiction, Young Adult fiction, and nonfiction) as their favorite new titles. The ten books that get the most nominations become the LibraryReads list for that month.


A community of readers


This month in a Kirkus Reviews interview, our readers’ services librarian, Kristin Friberg, gives her thoughts about our Princeton-centric corner of the publishing industry. We’re very pleased to see our library’s readers’ advisory services and the broader local reading community recognized as a trend-spotting mecca in one of the premier journals previewing books before their publication.


An English major’s dream


In a world where STEM dominates the education landscape from PreK through college, the English major is sometimes viewed as a quaint anachronism. Back in a less STEM-crazed time, I was an English major, which meant I spent a lot of time in libraries searching the card catalog and periodical index — yes, I am old — for insights into the great works of literature we read and attempted to discuss. 


I read (and watch) banned books


I remember the first time I heard a book was "banned." I was most likely in fifth grade, left with the librarian to keep an eye on me while I studied and did homework in my little town library on a Saturday afternoon. Stanley Kubrick’s movie, "Lolita" had been in the news over the summer. I wasn’t allowed to see it. "Not for children," my parents pronounced. I figured I’d go looking for the book at the library and see what all the hubbub was about.


September’s buzz books


Your beach bag might be filled with books to carry you through the summer, but it's never too early to start thinking about what you'd like to read for the fall. Many of us at the library recently attended the annual Book Expo America conference, where we learned about the great books publishing in the months to come and which titles are receiving the biggest chatter within the book industry. Here are a few buzz-worthy titles coming out in September that you might like to add to your reading list.


Why YA?


As Princeton continues to swelter through this summer’s seemingly interminable heat, it's sometimes too hot to do any real work. So, like any good southerner, I did what we do best during the heat, which is get a cold beverage (iced coffee is a good substitute if no decent sweet tea can be found) and shoot the breeze with my fellow librarians. Of course, being librarians, our talk quickly turned to books and the always knotty question of what makes a good young adult (YA) book.


The perfect kind of date


Recently, a few PPL staff members had the good fortune to attend Book Expo America, an annual gathering of publishers, editors, booksellers, librarians and superfans of reading. It's sort of like fashion week for the book industry, where publishers pull out all of the stops in an effort to reveal and promote the books they are most excited about for the upcoming months.

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