ASK! about Fiction
So many books, so little time: How to find a “good book”
Readers’ Advisory is a service commonly provided by librarians working in public libraries. Basically, the librarian introduces and suggests titles that would appeal to the reader, based on the reader’s specified reading interests.
Usually, this service is catered to the Fiction reader as Non-Fiction is usually read more for information rather than pure pleasure. Of course, this is a very general statement! So flame me not! Some fiction titles contain very factual and detailed info and some non-fiction titles are narrative and entertaining.
We use the DDC classification system in the public libraries of Singapore, and this means that Fiction titles are arranged alphabetically according to the first 3 letters of the author’s surname. There are also icons on the spine label for 6 genres: Romance, Mystery, Thriller, Fantasy, Science Fiction & Horror. And icons for Award Winners and Short Stories.
If you check out our genre guides, each main genre actually contains many sub-genres. Even though sub-genres contain certain common elements, they may appeal to different people, for eg. if you’re a fan of John Grisham’s legal thrillers, it doesn’t mean you’ll like all other sub-genres, like forensic thrillers or military thrillers.
So how can you navigate the Fiction section with minimum frustration?
1. Use the icons
Even though each genre contains quite a bit of variation, they are all linked by a certain factor. Eg. Romance books always focus on the development of romantic relationships and have happy endings. So if you’re not picky about whether you’re looking for a contemporary romance or historical romance, just look out for the “Heart” icon.
2. Use the Genre Guides
Our genre guides provide more in-depth info about the genres, listing major sub-genres and their representative authors.
3. ASK! (you know the drill: email. phone, drop a form or look us up)
A large portion of Fiction doesn’t fall into specific genres. Some readers want to read inspirational stories, regardless of genre. Or maybe you’ve got a favourite author and would like to find out which other author has a similar style. Or you require even more info than what’s provided in the exisiting genre guides. Whatever the case, just ASK! Tell us what you’re looking for in a good book or let us know a few of your fav titles or authors and we’ll help you find others which you may enjoy!
4. Develop eclectic or random reading habits
If browsing in a library or book store for hours and hours is a pleasurable activity to you, then perhaps you are a bona fide bibliophile. Regardless of genre, subject or location, you prefer the “chance meeting”. That love at first sight (or first glance at the book flap/cover) feeling of fortituous discovery… If this describes you, then check out some reviews at our sister site: High Browse Online. Who knows, you may come across the next love of your life!
Contributed by Jillian Lim, Librarian, Public Library Services
If you need further fiction-related information or reading suggestions, drop us an email at email@example.com.
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