Saturday, 19 March 2016

When You Try Really Hard Not To Recommend Wildly Inapproriate Books

One really hard yet cool thing of working in a bookshop is recommending books. It's nice to think that what you suggest could perhaps reignite a love of reading of kick start that journey for a child! But on the other hand you also don't want them to hate it and then never read again. What you read and your books say a lot about you according to an article in the Australian Financial Review a few days ago - perhaps even more so than art (and a lot cheaper too!). But we take the effort to get to know the books so that we can help you find the perfect gift or book for yourself. That being said, sometimes clues as to what people are looking for are extremely specific (a book about a girl called Caroline who has an older brother for a five year old girl) or vague (there was something about a carrot on the front cover). Nevertheless, we love a challenge (and are friends with Google) so it usually all works out in the end. 

As I'm generally around the kids/teen/picture book area it makes sense that I usually recommend those. Sorry I know nothing about adult fiction, I try and palm them off (in the nicest way possible) to another staff member. But the main challenge I feel about kids teen books is when they're at the age between kids and teens. Often it's that the reading level is high but the maturity is not. And by material I mean adult themes which is strange when you think about it because we're still in the teenage section but that's another story. After all, you don't want to recommend a book to a fourteen year old that has rampant sex for the first time unwittingly. When in doubt I look at the font size...

Sometimes I feel that it's also up to the publishers to choose book covers that are age appropriate as well. I hate it when it looks really childish or perhaps just for a younger audience and then it's actually about an 18 year old who has run away from an abusive home. I mean designers should read the books first! Sometimes I think I should be a book designer. Oh and also, what do you recommend for the person who literally has every single book?! 

Here are some titles from this site that I weren't sure were real or not and then discovered we actually used to stock one...


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