The last two days I was touring colleges with my seventeen year old daughter. It was a long two days, with more time in the car than out. We went to the library at one of the colleges (of course) and there I saw the most fascinating thing. Stacks of books were on display, and they had been wrapped in construction paper. The only thing written on the paper was a brief bio of the book; for example: nonfiction humor, or fictional memoir. The program was called Blind Date with a Book. Each book had been pre-read by the organizers and was promised to be exceptional. You, the reader, were to select one and promise to return it, re-wrapped the following week if you found it exceptional as well. Only after you checked out the book were you able to see what you’d gotten yourself into. It was brilliant. How many times have I been in a library, completely overwhelmed? How many times have I been drawn in by a book’s cover, only to find out it sucked? This program brought reading down to the most basic level for me: Just you and a book that someone recommends. Again, brilliant. I’ll have to suggest this at my local library.
Have you ever been overwhelmed by the sheer number of books out there? Ever been sucked in by a pretty cover? How do you select the books you read?