...Ramblings from a Librarian...(#11)

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.


  1. What a nice post. Thanks for sharing.

  2. It's nice that she came back to tell you she enjoyed it. Although her comment about you being young for the book was surprising--we have a copy of My Sister's Keeper catalogued in the YA section. Not in my branch, I don't think, but somewhere in the system.

    Here's an aside--Jodi Picoult books are NEVER on the shelves in our branch. No matter how old the books are, someone is ALWAYS reading them. I know we, as a system, buy more copies of James Patterson books than Jodi's, but. After everyone who's been on hold for the latest James Patterson book has read it, they sit on the shelf. I don't find that to be true with jodi's stuff. Anyway, just my rambling for the day.

  3. Christi ~ My library also has a few copies of My Sister's Keeper in the teen section. I don't know if this patron possibly meant she was surprised I would be interested in the topic of My Sister's Keeper or what. It just kind of surprised me. Our Picoult books are never on the shelves either, so you made a good point about Picoult vs. Patterson.

  4. We also have Jodi Picoult books in the YA section. It's a strange comment she made. At least she was nice. I love it when people come back and are happy with the book I recommended.

    My patrons are always thinking I'm much younger than I am. A few even thought I was in high school! I figure I'll appreciate that in years to come as long as they keep assuming I'm ten years younger than I actually am :P


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