Readers’ Advisory: Banned Books Week, Sept. 27 – Oct 3, 2014

Banned Books Week

By Holly Hibner and Mary Kelly

Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to read. It began in 1982, when there was a sudden uptick in the number of books being challenged in schools and libraries. An astounding number of challenges happen each year (307 reported in 2013, according to the Office of Intellectual Freedom!), and Banned Books Week is a way to celebrate the value of open access to information (1). It is important to point out that of those 307 challenges, few of them were actually banned. The diligence of teachers, librarians, and informed citizens ensured the freedom to read in most situations.

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Pick and Grin. Subscribe and Smile. Choose and Wallow.

Whatever way you look at it, when you choose a large print subscription to continually update and refresh your collection, you’ll be glad you did. How? Well, we can think of 36 ways. Thorndike Press has 36 different plans to suit your patrons’ interests: from African-American titles to Christian Fiction to Gentle Romance to Westerns — and everything in between.

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What Lies Beneath the Bestsellers: Mine the Gems!

High-demand, bestselling titles meet the immediate needs of a large group of patrons. They’re the sparkly gold dust that attracts attention and draws in readers. But beneath that top layer of new titles are the “midlist” titles – the majority of all published works. In this group is where emerging authors, alternative and esoteric titles, and a much broader selection of works live. These are the titles chosen by libraries focused on providing a rich collection that encourages readers to look beyond the “shiny” titles.

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New Read Alikes for Old Classics

large print

By Holly Hibner and Mary Kelly

Remember in high school and college when you were assigned classic fiction reading? Those titles are classics for a reason. They have stood the test of time and are still assigned reading in many classrooms. Some of my personal favorites were The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorn, Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger, and Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. I remember thinking that there were such profound ideas in those novels, and soaking up every metaphor and every turn of phrase.  As an adult, I am interested in these same profound ideas and great writing, and I think that there are a lot of books published in the last ten years or so that make great read alikes to those classic novels. Let’s start with my favorites.

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Historical Fiction Recommendations from Joyce Saricks: New and Popular in Large Print

Forget the “Columbus sailed the ocean blue” mnemonic devices and dusty history books.  If you want to experience history with dimension and humanity, turn to historical fiction.

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Help Patrons Get Ahead of Movie Releases by Stocking Up on Large Print

Before they were stars…soon-to-be movie blockbuster titles available in large print!

Ahem…and cue the announcer! “IN A WORLD dominated by video and movies, a plucky group of librarians dares to put large-print books into the hands of readers starved for stories in the most readable format available.”

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Fiction, Schmiction. How About Some Reality?

Thorndike large print memoirs and biographies

Some readers crave fiction. But a growing number of readers are hungry for nonfiction. In fact, a recent analysis of circulation data from libraries around the country revealed phenomenal growth of circulating nonfiction over the last 20 years. Why? Well, here are two possible reasons: 

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Outta-This-World Titles for Sci-Fi Fans… in Large Print

The latest Sci Fi titles

Science fiction is often called the “literature of ideas.”  It tells the story of humanity with unparalleled imagination and often stimulates powerful insight into the human condition by exploring grand “what if” scenarios.

Books like 1984, Fahrenheit 451, Brave New World and Animal Farm introduced science fiction broadly to American audiences and it quickly became a popular literary genre.  Since then, interest in science fiction has grown immensely, as readers of all ages are drawn to the genre that allows us to explore other worlds from the comfort of home.

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Find Top Publisher’s Weekly Best Books of 2014…in Large Print

Publisher's Weekly Best Books of 2014

The highly anticipated annual Publisher’s Weekly Best Books list gets the full attention of three enthusiastic groups of people:

  • Authors, who want their book to be on it
  • Readers, who refer to it to discover new books for their must-read list
  • Librarians, who use it to develop their collections with high-quality, relevant titles

Well, this year’s list has arrived, and it’s stocked with great books that readers in every community are itching to read.

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