Our featured Reviewer for November 2015 is Marie P.
Marie has worked for Lincoln City Libraries for a couple of years, at Gere Branch, Walt Branch and the headquarters library, Bennett Martin Public Library downtown. Her reviews show up regularly on our Staff Recommendations displays and on the BookGuide web pages. Reading has long been a part of her life, as she indicates in her answers to our questions about books and reading:
Would you care to share any personal info with our readers — such as where you grew up, what you read as a child, etc.?
I’m originally from Lincoln. To finish my degree in Library Science, I moved to Omaha. I loved it there and ended up staying for about 6 years. While I was in Omaha, I worked for several different libraries, both academic and public. Life recently brought me back to Lincoln.
How long have you been an active reader, and were there any particular books or authors or other people that “made you a reader”? Has there been any book or author that “changed your life” or strongly influenced you?
I’ve always loved books and reading. My parents have pictures of me as a toddler being read to by grandparents and siblings. Being homeschooled, visiting the library with mom was a weekly occurrence. I would bring home bags filled with books every week. I remember a lady remarking to me once as I was leaving, struggling with a full bag, “Any more and you would need a wagon!”
I would say that my mom was the biggest “reading influence” in my life. Being taken to the library every week and allowed browse for hours definitely grew my love for reading. I can’t say there was any one book or author that really impacted me; I would read just about anything I could get my hands on. I would probably say that my favorite childhood books were “The Saddle Club” series, and the “Mandie” series.
How important are books and reading to you?
Books and reading are very important to me. Besides being a portion of my job, they are pretty much vital to my every-day life. Reading is my favorite hobby. It’s extremely rare to find me without a book in my purse, or a book downloaded to my phone, for those times with I have an extra few minutes for reading. I would often be bored if I didn’t have books to read.
How do you select what books to read next? What formats do you prefer (book, ebook, audiobook, etc.)?
I currently have a pretty large “to-read” list that I have been trying to catch up on. The library is the best (worst?) place to work if you love reading. I keep adding to my list, and never seem to make any progress. I also love for people to recommend books to me. If you are excited about a book, you can easily make me excited to read it as well.
For professional reasons (though I generally enjoy them as well), I try to read books that are on award or nominee lists for various Library or Literary organizations, such as The Golden Sower award.
I enjoy reading print books most of the time, but for convenience sake, I will also read digital books. Sometimes it is easier to read those, rather than carry a book. I will listen to audiobooks occasionally, but usually just for things such as long car rides.
What do you enjoy about writing book reviews/recommendations?
I like to share my excitement for books. Even when books are great, they can easily get passed-over in the library shelves. I like to be able to highlight a book that someone may have never noticed otherwise.
What is your history with the Lincoln City Libraries – how long have you been a customer, and how long have you worked for LCL? Which locations?
I am a lifelong patron. I can’t remember a time that I did not visit the library regularly. Growing up, I would usually go to the Gere branch, occasionally visiting other branches. My grandma lived within walking distance of Anderson, so she and I would visit there as well.
I volunteered at Gere in high-school, and worked at Walt as an aide in college. Now I’ve been at Bennett Martin about a year.
Are there any interesting book- or reading-related stories or bits of trivia in your past that you’d like to share with our readers?
When I was young, after lugging sacks of books home for a couple years, my mom bought me a little cart about the size of a milk crate that had wheels, so I could bring all my books to and from the library in that.
I once dropped a book in the dog’s water dish and had to pay for it.
Do you have a favorite literary-related website you like to visit or that you’d like to recommend?
I use Goodreads.com to keep track of my personal reading. You can use the site to create lists of books that you would like to read, or have read. You can rate books and write comments that other users can view. It will give you recommendations and lists based on how you’ve rated other books. You can also add friends, and see their ratings and comments as well.
If there was only one author you could convince people to read, that author would be:
Hmm, author would be hard for me to narrow down, but how about two of my absolute favorite books? The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is probably the most beautifully written book I’ve ever read. It has gained quite a bit of popularity since the movie based on this book came out a few years ago. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand is an extremely powerful book. I’ll be honest; it was a hard book to read. There were a few times I had to set it down in the middle of a paragraph and leave it for a period of time before returning to it.
Posted to the BookGuide pages in November 2015