A few weeks ago an older female patron came into the library asking if I could recommend any fiction books that would “teach her something”. When adult patrons ask me for book recommendations, sometimes I feel bad because they don’t get such a personal recommendation as when I recommend books to teens for the simple fact that I don’t read a whole lot of adult fiction.
When this patron asked for a book recommendation, my first thought was to recommend a book by Jodi Picoult because not only is she one of my favorite adult fiction authors, but I feel like I’ve learned something from each book I’ve read of hers. Yet, I was kind of taken aback because from the books she’s told me she has read and enjoyed, I thought a Jodi Picoult book might be a little too edgy for her. Nonetheless, I ended up recommending Picoult’s book My Sister’s Keeper. I briefly explained the plot to her and the patron said she would give it a try.
So, yesterday this same patron came back into the library, approached the reference desk, and began telling me just how much she enjoyed the book. I was thrilled! While we were talking, she made the following two comments which kind of threw me off a bit:
1. “I really liked this book, but I’m surprised someone as young as you could enjoy a book like this.”
My response: “Yeah, I really did enjoy it and most of the other ones she has written.”
My internal response: “Lady, are you crazy? You think I’m too young to enjoy this type of book? What books do you assume I read then? Wow-za!”
2. “I was so pleased with you recommending this book that I told the head librarian [I still don’t know who this “head” person is] that I appreciated you, I didn’t remember your name, recommending it to me. I told her the youngest librarian recommended it to me.”
My response: “Well thank you! I’m really glad you enjoyed it so much [insert smile here].”
My internal response: “Ahhh yes, the “youngest” librarian. Hahaha!”
Every day I am always surprised what patron’s say to me, whether it’s something positive or negative. Overall though, I am really glad I was able to give this patron a good book recommendation, especially since it was kind of out of my usual “teen” element.