Confessions of a Library Assistant

Working in a library for a couple of years now has been a real eyeopener. There are so many things that I’ve learnt and really enjoyed doing- so I thought I’d share some of my trade “secrets” with you today 😉 Let’s take a peek behind the scenes and I’ll tell you some of the things I love (and don’t like so much) about working in a library.

#1 Whenever someone takes out a book like A Thousand Splendid Suns, my heart gives a little squeeze and I think “good choice”. I just love seeing great books go out and always think how lucky the person is to get to experience them for the first time!

#2 I love the process of suggesting a book, putting it on display and seeing it go out! The most recent “victim” of this was Ivies by Alexa Donne- it just made me so happy to see that teens are actually taking it out 😊  

#3 Of course, as much as I am inclined to promote books I like, I do (shocker) put books on display that I don’t like because I know other people will like them (I may be biased but I’m not that biased). The blog is where I show my personal taste.

#4 Let’s be real though- a lot of the time books just end up on displays cos they have a pretty cover 😉

#5 I have not read all the books. Ergo I cannot actually help you with all your super specific requests 😂 Especially if it’s horror- I’m gonna struggle to find you a recommendation there! Honestly, I think that the reader is the expert in their own taste, so I’m not keen in pushing people to read things they probably won’t like. And on that note…

#6 Please for the love of god be more specific when you ask for suggestions. Saying you like “anything” is never actually true- and I can tell when you wrinkle your nose at what I then suggest that you didn’t actually mean it.  

#7 As much as I enjoy conversations with readers, sometimes it is hard to be diplomatic! Often they can suggest things to me that I already know I didn’t like… and it’s hard not to tell them so (particularly when they’ve just told me they hate a personal fave). I (hope) I have mastered the art of smiling and nodding (though I doubt it 😂).

#8 Literally every job involving books is dangerous to bookworms. I am tempted by the new books. I am tempted by the returns. I am particularly tempted by the long waiting lists. So yes, even if I never thought I’d read a book, seeing a long queue of people reading it will pique my curiosity. The great thing is that I’ve found many great (and unusual) books this way… the only problem is my book addiction is getting out of hand!!

#9 Weeding (the process of deleting books) is simultaneously the saddest and most interesting jobs. I still haven’t quite been able to come to terms with saying goodbye to tatty, old books- even if it does help to know that this means making way for new books! Still, there are perks! Not only do you come across all kinds of weird and wonderful books that you might never have read (think Crap Days Out), but you get to put on your detective hat and find out what people are actually checking out over the years. Oh, and in my down time, I have read an entire book I wasn’t sure about deleting, before inevitably deciding that it totally made sense no one wanted to read it.

#10 Most of us prefer the bustle of a busy library and do not spend our days shushing people! Times have moved on a little bit 😉

#11 If you don’t have OCD before working in a library, let’s just say there’s a strong chance you will develop it… annnd I’m just gonna leave that statement at that 😂

#12 Annnd this one is just a “me” thing- but I like looking at people’s names. I won’t put any examples here (for obvious reasons) just know that if you have a cool name, I’ve probably clocked it 😉

#13 Picture books are the best. Obviously new books are one of the greatest joys of working in a library- you get to discover what’s new and of course borrow a ridiculous amount of them. What I didn’t expect, though, was the secret delight of finding colourful and playful new picture books in the pile. Because of this, it really opened up my eyes to what a delight picture books really are. Just look at these bad boys:

And that’s all for now! Hope you enjoyed that little insight into the inner-thoughts of library staff!  

Book Blogger Confessions Tag

 

orangutan tag 2

It has been a while since my last confession… I mean tag 😉 So I figure I should just jump straight to the good bit! Thanks so much to the lovely Sophie for tagging me to do this one! She runs a brilliant book blog with such varied content- from reviews to writing to crafts! Definitely recommend you check her out 🙂

RULES:

  • Answer these questions truthfully.
  • Once you’re done, tag 5 other book bloggers to answer these questions next.

1. Which book, most recently, did you not finish?

otherworld

I actually find it really hard to DNF, so I was proud of myself for giving up on Otherworld. It was a very, very average ripoff of Ready Player One. And I’m not sorry for giving up on it!

2. Which book is your guilty pleasure?

Hmm I don’t know that I ever feel guilty, so I’m going for something that is more pure pleasure…

kiss quotient

3. Which book do you love to hate? 

fifty shades of grey

Hard question, cos I kinda hate hating things most of the time. I’ll admit I do enjoying hating on Fifty Shades of Grey from time to time- there’s just a lot of entertaining stuff out there making fun of it.

4. Which book would you throw into the sea? 

old man and the sea

I’ll admit I trawled through all my lowest rated books on Goodreads, looking for something that sounded appropriate, so I guess I’m giving The Old Man and the Sea a watery death because it sounds punny! I feel a bit mean about this, because it’s not a fate it truly deserves, given it’s actually a good book and the only justification I have is that I don’t click with Hemmingway’s writing style… which isn’t really a justification at all. Ah well- I guess I’ll just have to drown in my own guilt 😉

5. Which book have you read the most?

Easily, the Hobbit.

Hobbit_cover

6. Which book would you hate to receive as a gift? 

I don’t know that there’s anything… beyond Mein Kampf. I think any scenario where you receive this (or anything in this vein) as a gift would be pretty disturbing. Like, the thought process behind this would either be “Happy birthday- I think you’re a Nazi!” or “Happy birthday- from your friendly neighbourhood Nazi!”

mein kampf

(I realise there is probably a perfectly sensible answer to this question and I’ve just gone off the deep end, haven’t I?)

7. Which book could you not live without? 

Well, I’ve already mentioned The Hobbit, so I think I’ll have to go with another of my most formative reads: The Idiot. Not necessarily Dostoevsky’s best, but it’s left a deep impact on me ever since I read it.

idiot

8. Which book made you angriest? 

as i lay dying

I can safely say that As I Lay Dying makes me so hot under the collar that I might spontaneously combust. Now, I’ve been told that I don’t get this book’s brilliance. Apparently, writing 56000 words on why language is insufficient to convey meaning is a stroke of genius and not the pretentious bilge I took it for. Silly me. Granted I do understand that I was supposed to buy into the post-structuralist “everything is meaningless so we might as well all curl up and die” view a long time ago- alas I am too “foolish” to have taken that to heart 😉 I must therefore issue an apology to the intelligentsia powers-that-be who like to pontificate on whether chairs are indeed chairs/whether dogs are dogs/whether language is a useful tool to communicate: I guess I couldn’t have been more wrong. Clearly I am a grunting-cave-dweller for thinking language fulfils its function pretty well. Clearly it is smart to obfuscate meaning in order to make the point that meaning is impossible to find- that’s not a manipulative tactic at all and TOTALLY proves there’s no meaning… in this work at any rate 😉  (Wow- that got more sarky than I intended- see what I mean about this making me sizzle with rage?)

9. Which book made you cry the most?

sadie

Recently, that would be Sadie. I can barely talk about this without getting emotional, so I’m just going to suggest listening to the audiobook version if you can and move on before I tear up…

10. Which book cover do you hate the most?

I don’t know why, but I feel so so bad picking out ugly covers. Still, I have to admit, I’m not crazy about the original City of Bones cover.

City_of_Bones

That’s all for now- I tag: Journey into Books, Hammock of Books, Kristin Kraves, Meltotheany, Literary Latte, CJR Brit and the Book Prescription

And I want to know- do you agree or disagree with any of my answers? And what books makes you sizzle with rage? Let me know in the comments!