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Must Reads for Readers Advisors'

Page history last edited by Katharine Phenix 11 years, 8 months ago

Read a book about Readers' Advisory? Post your review here!


Bayard, Pierre. How to Talk about Books You Haven't Read. New York: Bloomsbury USA, 2007. 

The terms "read" and "unread" are meaningless; one should speak of books in terms of Heard of, Skimmed, Forgotten, or Unknown. And, wonder of wonders, "to speak without shame about books we haven't read, we would thus do well to free ourselves of the oppressive image of cultural literacy without gaps... which tyrannizes us from within and prevents us from being ourselves." Much as a mathematician can measure a splash, and without seeing the splash occur, can determine the size, weight and trajectory of the object that created it; one can know a book without reading it by observing the affect it has on society, listening (or reading) trusted opinions and probing its connection to other works you are familiar with. Talking about books is unrelated to reading books, which is unrelated to remembering the books that we have read. And here is the realization that alleviated years of unknown anxiety, no one has a perfect recollection of a book that they have read. You begin to forget even before you finish the page. And as each person is an organic entity and continues to change, even if you took meticulous notes, your interaction with a book today would be drastically different in one year, five years and in ten years. What matters, then, about reading, is the book's effect on you, and it's impact on your internal library, those books that you carry with you in your heart and mind, either because you believe their importance in the cultural collective library or because of your personal connection with them. Overall, I recommend this book to anyone. I will admit that I skimmed that last three chapters, but I have never done so with such freedom and comfort. You also have to love a book with a whole chapter relating to Groundhog Day with Bill Murray. "Reading is first and foremost non-reading. Even in the case of the most passionate lifelong readers, the act of picking up and opening a book masks the countergesture that occurs at the same time: the involuntary act of not picking up and not opening all the other books in the universe."


Booth, Heather. Serving Teens Through Readers' Advisory. Chicago: American Library Association, 2007.

A great book on Readers' Advisory in general, I especially like the way she explains RA work - "reference for recreational reading." The cues about when to approach teens and how to ask open-ended questions to get the conversation started are golden.


Moyer, Jessica E. Research Based Reader's Advisory. Chicago: American Library Association, 2007

Moyer's goal here is to intertwine theory and practice. History and context for readers advisory are provided by essays written by some of the "greats" in readers' advisory Joyce Saricks, Barry Trott and  David Wright are  a few. Chapters on non-fiction readers advisory, book groups, romance and genre readers, tools and more are all prefaced by a research review of the relevant literature in the field. 


Wyatt, Neal. The Readers' Advisory Guide to Nonfiction. Chicago: American Library Association, 2007.

The suggested reading lists inside are amazing! A great place to get started!

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