Staff Picks: Books

Staff-recommended reading from the KPL catalog.

Summer Reading Reflections

I have often written about summer, beach, vacation reading... what I am reading, asking what you are reading, the angst of having the wrong or not enough books along on a trip, how reading sometimes changes in the summer.

I recently read an essay in which the writer reflected on summer reading. He reminisced about the decision of what books to take along on a trip and the worry of making a bad choice or not having enough books along, especially if you were traveling to a remote area. He remembered vacation was not a time to challenge himself with a particularly heavy book, not in weight or tone.

Well, times have changed. Now books travel easily in a variety of formats and you can have hundreds of books practically in your pocket and definitely in your suitcase. No worry about the wrong title or not enough.

This is not a new idea of course, but like a lot of essayists, the writer said it well and gave me pause to reflect on the changing world of books yet again.

I hope you had a good summer of reading in your format of choice.

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Summer Reading
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AnnR

Celebrate Summer Reading!

Summer has gone fast, too fast as usual. We’ve had a great summer of reading games. Registration for the games has been strong AND we’ve had record-breaking circulation on several Mondays, our busiest day of the week.

Programs have been fun – Bubbleman and Chemical Kim entertained kids; tweens and teens watched the Harry Potter movies, adults celebrated the world premiere of local author Bonnie Jo Campbell’s new book, music fans enjoyed Joe Reilly at the Oshtemo Township Park and Steppin’ In It at our 50th free concert.

It’s been a good summer of reading for all ages and now we are ready to celebrate! I hope you can join us at the end-of-summer concert on Sunday afternoon, August 28 at 4:00 in Bronson Park. The Verve Pipe will entertain with catchy songs and melodies from A Family Album, their critically-acclaimed collection of music for the entire family. One reviewer says it is full of “insanely fun, playful and memorable songs that will turn your smile upward.”

I hope to see you in the park for the concert!

Family Album illustrations

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The Verve Pipe, A Family Album
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AnnR

You Could Win a Prize!

Later this year, we will stop mailing paper hold and overdue notices and move to email, phone, or text message.

We have been mailing over 2,000 notices per month. That’s a lot of paper, ink, and postage AND it takes a few days to reach you. Email, phone, or text is much faster and increasingly preferred by our patrons.

To reach you by email, phone, or text we must have your correct information. Please enter our “Verify My KPL Record!” contest by the September 3 deadline and have a chance to win some great prizes, including the grand prize of an iPad®! Only one contest entry per person.

We always need your current info; this contest is just an added incentive to verify your library record now. Whenever you move, change your email address or get a new phone number, please remember to update it at the library too.

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Verify My KPL Record!
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AnnR

Publishing Pace

It has long been the rule of thumb within the publishing industry that the hardcover edition of a book was released first, followed by a large print edition and audio version, then a paperback edition about a year or so later, depending upon the pace of sales for the hardcover. That’s changing.

The first change I noticed was the release of the large print and audio versions soon after the hardcover. Now the ebook version is in the mix too. The ebook is released with the hardcover and sometimes before the hardcover OR sometimes just an ebook and no hardcover.

There is now an urgency to release the paperback sooner, following the model of Hollywood which has shortened the time between the theatrical release of a film and the DVD release. Publishers now watch each title’s sales quite closely to determine the best time to release the paperback and continue the momentum of the title. That could be just a few months to more than a year.

The entire publishing cycle is faster. Hardcovers have less time to prove themselves; ebooks sales are strongest at initial publication and do not spike again with the paperback release.

We purchase popular titles in all of these formats, some simultaneously, some staggered as they are released. In addition to various formats, we also purchase for special collections such as Hot Picks and Book Club in a Bag.

Come visit soon – I hope we have the title you want in the format you prefer.

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Books
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AnnR

Various Ways to Travel

Summer is often the time of year for trips near and far. We have many materials to help with trip planning but a case can be made for staying home too.

I recently read an article that made the case that Picasso was particularly prolific because “he never went anywhere.” The author wrote that Picasso only left France twice and got up every morning, including during the Nazi occupation of France, and worked. He didn’t hold with the idea that to understand life it was vital to travel. His inspiration came from museums in his area, reading books and magazines, and watching films. The author concluded that “the greatest artist of the 20th century was basically a shut-in.”

Everyone has a different travel philosophy. ...some want to travel widely, some hardly at all, some want to return to favorite travel destinations and not venture elsewhere.

Our summer reading games this year have a travel theme as participants read for at least 20 minutes each day. I hope you have signed up and are “traveling” though your summer reading. We have materials to help plan a trip, find inspiration for a new destination, or “travel” from your armchair by reading, viewing, and listening with items from our collections.

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Novel Destinations: KPL Summer Reading Games
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AnnR
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