Gosh, if I had a dime for every time someone asked me “What’s a good book”, I’d be rich! Unfortunately, everyone has a different definition for “good” and to put it bluntly, what’s good for me might be really bad for you — just ask my hubby who gets crabby if the only books left at home are contemporary romances.  But, thankfully, all kidding aside, there are a few tricks to finding a good book, beyond asking your friendly local librarian.   Of course, you probably know that we love throwing books in your direction!
The first trick is to know what you really like.  Think about the last book you read that kept you up at night or the one you started wondering about while driving to work.  Now those are the kinds of books you want to find.  Remember — life is too short to read anything but a good book.  Check out other books by that same author or look on the jacket for blurbs by other authors.  Chances are you’ll like their books, too.
Another trick is to find books that are similar to your favorite reads. How to do that?  Well, you can certainly ask your friendly local librarian or you can go online to a wonderful database called NoveList.  Hint: it’s on our webpage and your library card gets you access to the entire database.  Woo Hoo!   At NoveList, all you have to do is enter your favorite book title and up pops an entire list of books that are similar.  The other fantastic thing about Novelist is that you can click on the elements you really like, or even unclick them in case that was the one thing you hated about your favorite title.  For instance, you might hate reading books with ghosts in them so you can click off the “paranormal” element and keep the rest.
I could go on and on about ways to find good books, but this should get you started.  If, at this point, you don’t like what NoveList has to say, or you don’t have access to our database, just remember, your friendly local librarian has lots of “good” suggestions.
BTW, I will say that becoming a member of a book club is a great way to find good reads.  And, as it so happens, I will be hosting a presentation at the Virginia High School Library on January 11th at 6:30 through Community Ed. on that very subject. So, if you are interested in forming a book group, becoming a member of a book group, or if you are already a member and just want to give your group a little more “oomph”, call community ed. at 742-3990 and register.  The good thing about this AND your library?  It’s free!
Dawn Heisel – Public Services Librarian