Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Nancy Pearl: the key to matching readers to the "right" book

Imagine reading a book is like entering a doorway...

•Story -Every book tell a story (with some exception in the 500’s – 600’s)
•Characters - read of the people
•Setting - time and place
•Language Uses language to tell the story

Imagine these are doorways and all equal to 100% all added together

We don’t all agree on the size of each doorway

When people talk about books that they love they are talking about the doorway that they too into that book

Story Doorway – the reader describes the action words in their description, they couldn’t put it down, they couldn’t wait to see what happened next. This is the most popular doorway. Ex. The Da Vinci Code, John Grisham, James Patterson, Dick Francis, Jodi Picoult, look for white space with a lot of dialog that keeps the story going. Nonfiction- True Crime

Character Doorway- the characters seemed so real to the reader, they came alive for me, this is a sign that the reader like character driven books, Ex. John Irving – look for a book with a character’s name, The World According to Garp, or a description about the character- Nick Hornby - About a Boy. Nonfiction - Memoirs and biographies.

Setting Doorway- the reader felt like they were there, have the desire to visit the setting of the story, Ex. A Thousand Splendid Suns, Annie Proulx, Jacqueline Winspear, Devil in the White City. If the setting is considered one of the characters, Nonfiction ideas - Travel section, History

Language Doorway- The reader will say the book was well written, the reader says: I had to stop and think about how the author could put the words together, these are the awards winners, Pulitzer etc. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, John Updike, Terry Pratchett, Nonfiction ideas - Poetry and Drama

Imagine using this method to determine your patrons preferred method of entry into their pleasure reading. This will open up your collection to many new readers.

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