Last week Nancy Pearl was in town for the 50th anniversary of the Southern Adirondack Library System and gave a delightful talk at their annual dinner. She also presented several other programs, including a session on readers advisory for children & teens. And even though I’ve never done any real RA work, the librarians I work with do. Going to events like this helps me keep a bit better in touch with the real world of libraries! Little did I know that I’d learn so much in that hour. Nancy’s framework for looking at the appeal of books is so elegantly effective, yet simple enough for my non-literary brain to wrap itself around.
I won’t attempt to write up my notes since my good friend and librarian extraordinaire, Sue Rokos, did such a great writeup.
Some excerpts from Sue’s excellent post.
… every book of narrative fiction and non-fiction fits
at least one of Nancy Pearlâ€™s four potential doorways through which
readers enter a book:Doorway # 1 is Story
This doorway is the largest â€“ if someone says â€œI couldnâ€™t put it downâ€
or â€œI couldnâ€™t wait to see what happensâ€, they are looking for story…..
Doorway # 2 is Character
When someone talks about liking three dimensional characters, fully
developed characters, they enter books through Doorway #2…..
Doorway # 3 is Setting
Setting can be thought of as another character. If someone says they
felt like they were in that place in a book, thatâ€™s setting…..
Doorway # 4 is Language
Books with language as the biggest doorway are usually the award
winners. In general, they are books that move at a slower pace, where
â€œvoiceâ€ is often talked about….
Do read her whole post to get more info and her book suggestions!