The Bookshelf

The Best of the Books … and Beyond!


Reading Survey Results: Part 1

The 2010 survey of reading interests was conducted between November 1st, 2010 and January 11th, 2011. Responses were collected via public links on the Library’s website, blogs, Facebook page, Twitter account, and Constant Contact email newsletters. Paper surveys were also offered at the Reader’s Services desk.

In that time, 662 responses were collected. This is a decrease in responses from last year, which received 761 public responses. Closer examination reveals less of a drop-off. If you take incomplete surveys into account, the 2009 survey has 482 public responses and 78 staff responses. This compares reasonably well to 2010, which had an equal number of public surveys that were actually completed.

Today’s summary focuses on how survey respondents are reading.

Print remains the preferred format for both fiction and nonfiction readers. The response of “Always” for print jumped to 49% (from 43.9%) for fiction, and 42.7% (from 41%) for nonfiction. However, this isn’t the whole story. Downloadable materials have made considerable inroads. The number of Always responses for eBooks and Downloadable Audiobooks have nearly doubled for both fiction and nonfiction, and the Often responses have also shown considerable gains, and the Nevers for both eBooks and eAudiobooks have also dropped. Rather than taking a chunk out of the “traditional” method of reading, it appears that new formats are expanding the number of options in which patrons have to enjoy their favorite books. Given that ebook readers were a popular holiday gift this year, it will be interesting to see if these numbers continue to diversify.

This growth is still not reflected in the number of actual ebook devices employed by patrons. Of the 449 respondents who answered the question “Which devices do you use to read eBooks,” 355 responded with “None.” The Kindle was the most popular device, with 32 users, followed by the iPad and mobile apps, with 21 users each. In the Other category (which received 24 responses), laptop or desktop computers were popular responses. This is similar to a survey conducted by Forrester Research (a leading industry monitor), which found that over one-third of all eBooks read are done so on laptop or desktop screens.

You’ve got the hows here. Tune in tomorrow for a look at what people are reading.

Posted under Books

A List for List Fanatics

The recent issue of The New Yorker – June 14 – 21, 2010 names whom they consider to be  the most promising young writers under 40 years old.  The last time the magazine did this was in 1999.  See if you’ve read any of these authors and whether you agree or disagree with the magazine’s  picks.  I’m not a list fanatic, but it can be a nice way to discover new authors.  Did they leave your favorite author out?

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, 32
Chris Adrian
, 39
Daniel Alarcón, 33
David Bezmozgis, 37
Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, 38
Joshua Ferris, 35
Jonathan Safran Foer, 33
Nell Freudenberger, 35
Rivka Galchen, 34
Nicole Krauss, 35
Yiyun Li, 37
Dinaw Mengestu, 31
Philipp Meyer, 36
C. E. Morgan, 33
Téa Obreht, 24
Z Z Packer, 37
Karen Russell, 28
Salvatore Scibona, 35
Gary Shteyngart, 37
Wells Tower, 37

Just for comparison’s sake, here is the list of authors selected in 1999

George Saunders
David Foster Wallace
Sherman Alexie
Rick Moody
A.M. Homes
Allegra Goodman
William T. Vollmann
Antonya Nelson
Chang-rae Lee
Michael Chabon
Ethan Canin
Donld Antrim
Tony Earley
Jeffrey Eugenides
Junot Diaz
Jonathan Franzen
Edwidge Danticat
Jhumpa Lahiri
Nathan Englander
Matthew Klam

Posted under Books, Lists

Printers Row Lit Fest this weekend

I’m going to the Printers Row Lit Fest this weekend.  My favorite part  is the Tribune Good Eating tent where I can see cookbook authors and watch them prepare something and then get a chance to taste it. How else would I know what cookbooks to buy for the library?
Also looking forward to hearing Rick Kogan talk about Mike Royko.

Posted under Books

Spring has Sprung!

We are celebrating Spring in Readers Services by displaying books with green covers (over 40 shades to explore).

For a different type of “green,” check out this list of Green Reads: Environmental Fiction and Nonfiction.

Posted under Lists

Coming soon to a tv near you…

Lifetime just announced the air dates for the television movie versions of two Patricia Cornwell novels, At Risk and The Front.  Based on the books in the Win Garano series, Andie McDowell stars as DA Monique Lamont while Daniel Sunjata plays forensic investigator Win Garano.  The movies are set to air on Saturday April 10 and Saturday April 17, respectively.  Both movies start at 8 p.m.  No word yet on the long rumored Kay Scarpetta movie staring Angelia Jolie.

If you haven’t read the books yet, now is the perfect opportunity to do so before the movie versions air this April.

Posted under Books

The Subconscious Shelf

This month, the New Yorker, on their Book Bench blog, started a new feature called The Subconscious Shelf.  You email them a photo of your bookshelves and they “tell you what it says about you.”    The posted results are hilarious and, surprisingly, quite insightful.   I would post a picture here of my bookshelves at home, but I just have too many to fit into a single blog posting.  So, enjoy instead this stately picture of these lovely old books.

Posted under Books, Websites

Happy Birthday, Harlequin!

arts_harlequin-fabio_220Romance publishing juggernaut Harlequin turns 60 this year, and to celebrate Fabio will be ripping bodices from coast to coast.

I kid, I kid! Actually, Harlequin is offering something much cooler (unless you’re a big Fabio fan): Vistors to the site can download, read and share up to 16 romance ebooks completely free of charge. The selection includes paranormal, historical, Western and contemporary titles. Harlequin also is reissuing several debut books by series authors who went on to rule the bestseller lists; the first is Debbie Macomber’s The Matchmakers.

If you can’t find anything to your taste in Harlequin’s ebook selection and are a Skokie cardholder, you can download a wide selection of romance e-books (as well as other genres) at our North Suburban Digital Consortium download center.

Posted under Books