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Monday, August 22, 2011

Reader's Advisory: A different kind of game!

Just for fun, as the summer dwindles away and the mind is playing with ideas that it normally wouldn't entertain, think of what books to recommend to famous literary characters. Granted this may be a game that only librarians may find amusing, but truly it isn't. Anyone who is an avid reader can easily jump into the game. The premiss is simple; imagine that one of your favorite literary characters came to your library and asked for help in their reading selection. What book would you suggest for them to read? For example, it can be argued that Pinocchio would have loved school better if his school had a library. There he would have found hours of entertainment in reading fables from Aesop, The Boy who Cried Wolf. it certainly would have at the very least kept him out of the whale's mouth. Holden Caufield of Catcher in the Rye could have had a better teen experience if he would have had a teen advisory group to join at the local library. There he could have been directed towards Young adult novels that dealt with teen angst. Who knows, he might have found a book he related to like The Outsiders. Along those lines, it can easily be said that Elizabeth Bennett of Pride and Prejudice would have made a terrific book discussion group leader at her local library. Perhaps, she could have started out with Bridget Jones' Diary.

The characters listed above are just the beginning of the possibilities. Why not go a step further with the next set of famous literary figures.

King Richard III, could have probably used How to Win Friends and Influence people. It is the essential book on how to work with people to get the results you desire. Who knows how the fate of England would have fared if he could get more people on his side then against.

The unforgettable Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest is a good candidate for the a career change. It was quite obvious that she loathed the patients and presumably loathed her job. The best book for her would definitely be What Color Is Your Parachute?

The jilted Miss. Havisham in Dickens' classic Great Expectations was in dire need of help. Seriously, any woman who stays in a wedding dress, changes all the clocks in her house to reflect the exact moment her lover leaves her and then adopts a child in order to love someone is disturbed or at the very least needs to move on with her life. The best book for her might be Getting Past Your Breakup or any self-help relationship book.

Speaking of great Dickens' classic, The Christmas Story would have been a perfect title suggestion for the Grinch. After all, he did try to steal Christmas and could have used a lesson or two from Mr. Scrooge. If he had read the book first, he would have realized how silly his plan was from the start.

One of the most obsessive character ever to grace the pages of literature was Captain Ahab. If he had only known more about whales and their habits his quest to capture the "one" might have been easier. The book best suited for him is The Grandest of Lives: Eye To Ey with Whales.

Who can ever forget the lovable Scarecrow of the Wizard of Oz. His only wish was to have a brain. An expert librarian could have directed him to the entire library catalog where he could pursue any interest his little heart desired. After all the best place to use a brain, and realize you have one is at a library. However, since this is the game of Reader's advisory, a title should be suggested. Well, how about the Dummies Series? It's a good place to start!

For the literary hero who couldn't tell a monster from a windmill, there could only be one suggestion for him. Don Quixote should have picked up Windmills (Great Architecture Series). It would have saved him from very embarrassing moments. Then again, he was a dreamer so perhaps it all ended well anyways.

The Art of Raising A Puppy many not seem like a good choice for Cruella D'ville of 101 Dalmatians. However, it can be argued that if she had to care for cute and adorable puppies, she may have had second thoughts about skinning them for coats. After all, how can you cause harm to trusting little pups who are man's best friend? Then again, she may be a lost cause.

Medusa has her own set of problems that may be beyond he scope of help. How many women do you know can pull off having a head full of snakes? Not many! Winning friends is a whole lot harder too. A brave librarian may suggest to her Great hair : Elegant Styles for Every Occasion

A classic among SciFi fans is The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy and in that book there are many characters that could use a qualified librarian to help them find the right book. One character in particular stands out as needing the most help. Yes, it's Marvin the Paranoid Android. When someone is so depressed that he causes others to commit suicide just because they shared a conversation, something is wrong. A librarian could definitely direct Marvin away from the self-help area to a book like Jokelopeidia: The Biggest, Best Silliest Dumbest Joke Book Ever

The list of characters and reader's advisory suggestion could go on forever. Perhaps this would be a worthwhile topic to return to again. For now, it's time to for a relaxing summer afternoon visit with a favorite literary friend.



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