Andrea Newland (Submitted photo)

Andrea Newland (Submitted photo)

What do you like to read?

Tough question isn’t it?

We ask patrons that question all the time as we steer them towards their next treasure. I’m so glad no one asks me that question. You’d think as a librarian I would have nailed down my reading preferences by now. No, not really. I have started and stopped so many books in my life it’s ridiculous. I always feel guilty. Perhaps if I read a little bit more it would get more interesting?

Mind you, working in a library, I am spoiled because another reading option is right outside my office door! Not to mention the digital books via cloudLibrary or Overdrive that I can easily download to my phone. So many possibilities. Sometimes I think that makes it worse for me. So many options at my fingertips.

It doesn’t help that the only time I really have time to read is at bedtime. This is not the best time for me. My mom read to me every night as a child to settle me down to sleep. I now am conditioned to fall asleep soon after I begin reading. So, unless I am reading something incredibly exciting, I am asleep soon after I begin.

I have to admit, I tend to lean towards non-fiction. Honestly, the World Almanac and Book of Facts was my absolutely favourite book as a child. I was amazed to learn that actors used fake names. What do mean Tom Cruise’s name is really Thomas Cruise Mapother IV? I ate that stuff up. I tried memorizing all the names of the US presidents. I’m not even sure why. I was the little Cliff Clavin of my family. You’ll know who that is if you watched Cheers. No wonder my sister locked me out of her room and never let me borrow her clothes, I must have been terribly annoying! Even today, my husband calls me Hermoine Granger. I often start sentences with, “did you know?”

There are many options for patrons who never know what to read next. The Sylvan Lake Municipal Library has a collection of quick reads. They are short, fast-paced and you can finish them in a day or less. If you’re impatient like me, you can read a mystery such as The Night Thief by Barbara Fradkin and have the whole suspension wrapped up neatly in 129 pages. Or how about a steamy romance by Samantha Towle in 124 pages? (Let’s not mention the name of that specific title!) The great thing is, we have options. For someone like me, I may actually get through a quick read before nodding off to sleep. Plus, by the time I discover if I like it or not, I’d likely be close to the end of the book. At which point, I would feel compelled to finish it. Seems like a win/win!

Once in awhile I force myself to finish a book. The story is too important to stop. I may be frustrated and not looking forward to what comes next, but I must continue. For me, these are usually biographies or autobiographies. It may sound silly, but if someone has taken the time to express heartfelt details about their or someone else’s life, I feel disrespectful if I don’t hear the whole story. I understand some details may be exaggerated, but not usually the ones I select.

I am currently reading, Amy, my daughter, by Mitch Winehouse. Have a great New Year!