June 23, 2011
With the changes happening in my life, over the past few months I have expanded my reading to include more professional-oriented materials. In the past, I have read a variety of fiction and non-fiction. When in MN, I belonged to a neighborhood book club, which was really wonderful. Most of what we read were fiction (“The Help”, “Still Alice”, “Shanghai Girls”–all wonderful reads). When we moved to MN, for some reason I began on a mystery kick–re-reading Agatha Christie (whom I still really enjoy, being really a 30s girl at heart), Martha Grimes, PD James. I also read some PG Wodehouse for good measure (again, the 30s thing). I also do book reviews for Library Journal, concentrating on history, so I recently reviewed a book on Winston Churchill and “The King’s Speech” (read this if you haven’t, even if you have seen the movie, because it is more in depth and even more interesting!)
So, one of my old colleagues suggested a “work” book club–in order to spur us onto reading things we may not read unless we felt a real impetus to do so. We started with Seth Godin’s “Tribes”, which should be required reading for all librarians. The second one we read was Thomas Friedman’s “The World is Flat”. Both were quite illumating and really make you think about how the world is changing and how anyone (in my case, libraries) can fit in.
I just finished “This Book is Overdue”–a fun book that will inform anyone who has no clue as to the breadth of what librarians do over the course of a project. Now I am reading “Everything Is Miscellaneous” (only read the first couple chapters). This seems to delve into how information was organized in the past and how the digital world has imploded this previous organization. It is making me think about ways to make changes in both cataloging and organizing that make more sense for the user.
In case you are wondering, I have read these items in both “traditional” ways–either bought the book or borrowed it from the library, or I have read them on my iPad. I have no issues reading on my iPad, except if I want to read in the bathtub. I find either way of reading exactly the same.
If you are job hunting like me, and you do not usually read a ton or you read only those genres that you find familiar, take the time to read something “heavy” that you would not ordinarily read. It will open your mind and thought process and may even help on an interview!