Saturday, November 13, 2010

Asking for Suggestions

As a blog reader I am often running across book reviews or discussions of books that other bloggers have read.  Bloggers like to read, no question.  Books, other blogs, online forums, news sites, etc.  So who better to ask my question to than to fellow bloggers (assuming, of course, that anyone reads this).

At work I have joined a new committee, the employee news blog.  I would link to it, but due to some technical issues, we had to create a new blog and it is currently empty.  At our first meeting, I made a suggestion and also took on the task of writing a regular column interviewing fellow library employees about what they are currently reading.  I think it'll be a fun column to do.  Who doesn't want to know what the librarians are reading?  Plus, I think what a person is reading can give a bit of insight into what kind of a person he or she is, which is one of the focuses of our employee newsletter/blog (and a much better way, in my opinion, to learn about your fellow employees than the boring employee profiles that used to be so common).

Getting to the point of this post: if you were talking to someone about what they were reading, what would you ask?  I need a nice list of questions that I can use one of two ways, either I'll be emailing the questions to people and getting their responses back or I may get a chance to actually sit with someone one-on-one to ask them the questions and have a real conversation.  So the questions should work in either situation.

Also, the type of books people may be reading could vary widely.  Fiction and non-fiction; school related (we have lots of staff and faculty working on additional degrees); professional related (reading something for research purposes, writing a book review, etc.); teaching related (many people teach classes in all sorts of areas); and who knows what else.  In other words, this won't all necessarily be reading for pleasure.  Though, we are talking about library employees, so I imagine there is plenty of pleasure reading being squeezed in whenever possible.

So what would you ask?  What are you curious about when talking to others about what they are reading?  Any suggestions?  I'm all ears, because currently I have no idea what to ask beyond just what someone is reading and why they like it.  I need some ideas to help me focus and think more broadly about this.

Overall, I am looking forward to getting started in this new assignment.  I think it'll be fun!


  1. I like to know why people choose specific titles. Is it the author? the topic? on the recommendation of someone else? What made them pick that book?

    I also like to know how they're liking the book as they're reading. Is it better than expected? the same? worse? Why? What's drawing them in? what's turning them off?

    I hope that helps!

  2. I'm thinking along the lines of what genre the book fits in, what other reading they have done in the genre and how this title compares... maybe an opinion about what type of person would enjoy reading this title? Maybe a rating system as far as their opinion of the book?

  3. Favourite books and books they slogged through or put down without finishing would be good things to find out I think. If they were to be stranded on a desert island and could take only one book with them what would it be?

  4. Thank you all for the comments and suggestions!! This really gives me a lot to work with!! I'm hoping to get at least one interview in before the Christmas break. Thanks!!