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Reviewer Profile – Naomi S


Our featured Reviewer for March 2018 is Naomi S.

Naomi has been an employee of the Lincoln City Libraries off-and-on since the Summer of 2011, and currently works at the Eiseley Branch Library. Naomi has been contributing book and media reviews to the libraries’ Staff Recommendations pages since early 2017. Reading and books have long been an important part of her life, as she indicates in her answers to our following profile questions:

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 grew up in Nebraska, California, and Washington. I was born here in Lincoln, and my family moved between Nebraska and California for my first decade or so. I spent a lot of my early adolescence in Orange County, California. We were close enough to Disneyland that we heard their fireworks display multiple times a week. Next, we moved to Tacoma, Washington, where I attended Lincoln High School for about a year. The freshman class there had about 400 students. Finally, we moved back to Nebraska (Clatonia, population: 300) and I graduated high school with a small class of 40 in Wilber.

As a child, I fondly remember the Disney paperbacks with matching audiobooks on cassettes. I can still see the clear bags with red plastic handles, and the cassettes that followed along with the book would chime when it was time to turn the pages. I wanted to read almost everything around me. Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, Goosebumps, the Nancy Drew mysteries, and Babysitters Club were some of the series books I enjoyed. Black Beauty, The Giver, and Harriet the Spy were also somewhat popular when I was growing up. I often tried to read books that my relatives and parents’ friends had on their bookshelves. A nearby adult had V.C. Andrews and Philip Roth on their shelves, although I don’t remember reading or understanding those authors while I was still young.

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 enjoyed reading from a young age. My step-grandmother, a public library trustee, definitely helped turn me into a lifelong reader. She made sure we had access to books even when access to other luxuries seemed difficult to obtain.

I have been more open to books changing my life in recent years. I have been strongly influenced by popular self-help titles and other feminist reads of the last few years, including those by social worker Brené Brown and survivor poet Rupi Kaur. I have only recently started to build a list of books that I plan to go back to for re-reading.

How important are books and reading to you, currently?

Currently, I focus on reading to cure any and every ailment I may have, whether it’s social, emotional, or otherwise. If I need to know more about something, I will take home a pile of books. If I have a home improvement project, I will take home a pile of books. Having a city library that can access nearly everything I need is priceless. I hope others feel the same.

How do you select what books to read next? What formats do you prefer (book, ebook, audiobook, etc.)?

I follow a few authors on social media, and when they gush about each other’s books, I add those to my TBR piles. I like ebooks and audiobooks mainly because I can easily browse titles and cover images 24/7. I am ashamed to say that sometimes I forget I have items downloaded and then will not finish them before they expire. Therefore, physical books are the best, because I can carry them around like security blankets, they have a weight to them to remind me they’re there, and I am easily able to see and feel how much of the book I have left to savor.

What do you enjoy about writing book reviews/recommendations?

I enjoy writing book reviews because I know I need the practice! I am also hopeful that some of the items I review will encourage customers to read outside of their comfort zones.

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 was not a big LCL user before working here. I worked as a shelver at UNL’s Love Library for four years, so I got most of what I needed there. I started a graduate program in library science in 2010 and have worked off-and-on with LCL since the summer of 2011. I spent three non-consecutive summers as a city/county outreach worker. This involved a lot of driving, lugging around craft supplies and suitcases full of books, and wildly unpredictable story time crowds, size-wise. Those experiences taught me so much. I recently started full-time at the Loren Corey Eiseley branch library.

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?

One time I received a GoodReads message from an author offering me a free autographed galley of his book. He wrote to me simply because I had put his sequel on my TBR pile. I believe I was also one of only a few who had done so. I was star-struck nonetheless!

Do you use LibraryThing or GoodReads or any other personal library cataloging software to track your reading and/or share it in social media?

I have been using GoodReads for a few years. A professor made it a requirement for tracking books when I took a Readers’ Advisory class. After the class ended, I continued to use it just because it was there. Briefly, I have looked for alternatives to GoodReads that are not owned by Amazon, but I have yet to invest the time that is needed to re-build my virtual shelves in another location. At first I was ashamed that my TBR pile on GoodReads was three times the size of my completed pile. I vowed and vowed to get it down, to read the books, to mark things completed… Now the proportions are just even more out of control.

and finally…

If there was only one author you could convince people to read, that author would be:

Roxane Gay, especially Difficult Women. I believe there are stories in there that can bridge two sides of a country. There is a lot to feel in her writing.

Booklists from Book Talks presented by Naomi S.:
None yet.
Podcasts Naomi S. has participated in:
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Click Here to Read Naomi S.’s Reviews

Posted to the BookGuide pages in March 2018 | Last updated in March 2018