By November 27, 2008 2 Comments Read More →

Let’s Talk About Books!

Today, since my colleague Linda was on vacation, I facilitated the book discussion for the open-ended discussion group, “Let’s Talk About Books!” The Fiction department calls in “LTAB,” simply because we, like other groups in general and libraries in particular, just love acronyms.

Anyway, LTAB is an informal group that meets twice a month where readers can come in and talk about what they have been reading. Here is our blurb about the group:

Come talk with librarians and other book lovers, share your book suggestions and get ideas for what to read next. This is a totally low-key drop-in group. Brown bag lunches welcome.

Whether you’ve been reading fiction, nonfiction, children’s, teen, audio books, graphic novels, braille, and everything in between, you can come to LTAB and share and hear from other readers. The only ground rules are that you be considerate of how many people have come to attend who also want to speak–to keep it semi-short. Try to just talk about one book at a time (we go around the table once, sometimes twice). And no spoilers–some of us might want to read the book you’re talking about!

I co-facilitated this group, back when it was led by two librarians, for three years or more. I loved it. Because it’s informal and drop-in, you get to meet so many readers from diverse backgrounds. Sometimes it was a couple just visiting from Australia, or a young homeless man who is a fixture in the library who heard the announcement and came by to check it out, or an executive from another downtown building. All of us together swapping stories about books. It’s been a while since I had been with the group, and I had forgotten how fun it was. There were three new members who had only been once before who were obviously delighted to have found LTAB. We were all charged up and energized to talk and listen.One die-hard member, who’s been in the group since I helped start it in 2003, is the best at talking about books she hates! She is colorful, descriptive, expressive! As I tell my regular book group–don’t just say you didn’t like it or loved it and leave it at that (although I generally discourage love/hate statements, or ask that they be saved until the end of discussion)–tell us why! The group heard lots of whys today, and we were all in stiches.

As Kaite’s recent post attests, moonlighting for someone else’s book group is not always easy or fun. But this time it felt like a honeymoon.

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About the Author:

Misha Stone is a readers' advisory librarian with The Seattle Public Library.

2 Comments on "Let’s Talk About Books!"

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  1. efeig@hotmail.com' ellen says:

    I wanted to share with you a wonderful book by travel writer, Sheryl Kayne. Titled,
    Immersion Travel USA: The Best and Most Meaningful Volunteering, Living, and Learning Excursions (The Countryman Press, a division of W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.), this book will absolutely change lives and the way people think about travel in the U.S. Designed to be a resource and idea book, this guide provides practical information about immersion travel (i.e., the active participation in the area one visits), special considerations and costs, and how to plan and take vacations, sabbaticals, side trips, and more.

    Would you be interested in reviewing the book and/or interviewing the author? Let me know and I will get a copy to you immediately and/or set up an interview date.

    All the best,
    Ellen Rosner Feig
    Literature Chick

  2. linda.johns@spl.org' LindaJ says:

    This model for bringing readers together is so inspiring. I’m so glad you helped start this group. In the past two years, I’ve learned so much from other readers. As a reader, I particularly enjoy hearing others’ concise impressions and feelings about books, as well as getting new ideas of what to read. As a readers advisory librarian, the Let’s Talk About Books group has been priceless. I find myself recommending books to patrons, telling them a little bit about it, and then saying, “I haven’t read this, but my friend Hannah said …” or “My friend Lillian said …” Two of our recent interns in the Fiction Department have said they’ve had some of the best RA training ever in this group.
    Thank you, by the way, for hosting the group in November. We all adore you and your thoughts on books, and hope you can come more often.

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