or, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Fear and Loathing at a Public Library Reference Desk


Alikewise is for (Book) Lovers

   August 24th, 2010 Brian Herzog

Heart shadow in bookIt looks like Alikewise.com has been around all year, but I only heard about it this weekend - it's a dating website that matches people based on the books they like.

This is a great idea for a dating website - it seems a much better way to get at someone's true nature than filling out a profile by guessing what will make you attractive. I checked around the site a bit (without creating a profile), and wonder if there's a way to tie-in with sites like LibraryThing and Good Reads to capitalize on peoples' full libraries. LibraryThing sort of already does this, with their You and None Other meme.

But here's something funny: at my first library, we toyed with the idea of a "singles night" book group. We thought it'd be a perfect program for Friday nights, after work, to come and meet other single people interested in books. It never happened, but I always liked the idea. Maybe that'll eventually manifest in Alikewise meetups.

And wouldn't this be a heck of a social networking widget to add to a library catalog? "Like this book? Click here to meet other patrons that do, too."

via Burlington Free Press (thanks, Carney) and more at NPR



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Night of a Thousand Boyfriends

   October 22nd, 2009 Brian Herzog

Night of a Thousand Boyfriends coverI was sitting next to our Teen Librarian as she was deleting books she'd just weeded from the Young Adult collection. We were kind of joking about the books that didn't circulate, and also lamenting how important cover art is to teens - if the cover of the book looks dorky or dated, they will not take it out.

Among those that didn't make the cut was Night of a Thousand Boyfriends - a choose-your-own-adventure book about dating. Ha. I loved those books when I was growing up, and thought one about dating was a funny idea.

I flipped through it, curious how "far" a YA book would go, and got quite a surprise. Here are some excerpts:

  • If you take the Ecstasy, turn to page 23.
  • If you decline the offer, turn to page 72.

and

  • If you suggest things are moving a little too fast anyway, turn to page 88.
  • If you insist that Brian run to the drug store for protection, turn to page 67.
  • If you throw caution to the wind and unfasten his belt, turn to page 39.

I'm sure teens have to make choices like this, but we both were amazed this made it into the YA collection.

Beyond that, this book was just bizarre - which is to say, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The book is about dating, so many of the paths involved going to clubs or bars, drinking, and going home with strangers. But some of the endings resulted in passing out, lesbian sex, kidnapping, internet porn, marriage, pregnancy - and being the Queen of Neptune.

So if you're looking for a book for a book club, Night of a Thousand Boyfriends by Miranda Clarke will certainly provide plenty topics of discussion.



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