Following the counsel of Governor Herbert and under the direction of Mayor Kaufusi, Provo City Library will be closed until further notice. No fines will accrue while we are closed. You can return items to our outside book drops during curbside hours.
Following the counsel of Governor Herbert and under the direction of Mayor Kaufusi, Provo City Library will be closed until further notice. No fines will accrue while we are closed. You can return items to our outside book drops during curbside hours.
 

 

Book Clubs

  •  picking favorites

    Today's a very special day, and you might not even know it! It's International Book Lovers Day! Given that this is one of the happiest days of the year, we've been brainstorming the best ways to celebrate. Here are a few suggestions:

    1. Read something, of course!

    2. Read to a child.

    3. Have a child read to you.

    4. Start a book club.

      Book Clubbin
      Source

    5. Reserve a book club set for your brand new club. 

    6. Check out a book from the library.

    7. Donate books you no longer want to the library. If we can’t add them to the library collection, we sell them in our book store and all profits go to library programming.

    8. Write a review of a book you love on Amazon. Reader reviews can make a big difference in an author's career.

    9. If you don't already have one, open a Goodreads account to keep track of what you've read and what you want to read.

    10. Follow our children's or teen and adult staff review blogs.

    11. Fill out a personalized reading recommendation form on our website and we'll recommend books just for you!

    12. Make plans to meet an author and get a book signed at one of our many upcoming AuthorLink events.

    13. Skim a review journal like Kirkus, Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, or The New York Times Book Review to find your next great read.

    14. If you have kids, add story time to your fall schedule. It starts up again on August 28th!

    15. Sniff a book.You know you want to.
      Rory Gilmore
      Source

    16. Have a favorite genre? Check out our adult, teen, and children’s booklists for recommendations.

    17. Visit our Read-alikes page to find authors who are similar to your favorites

    18. Reread a book that always makes you cry. It’s cathartic.

    19. Set up an Overdrive account if you haven’t already! We have hundreds of ebooks and eAudiobooks for you to check out.

    20. Think audiobooks readers are too slow? Listen to audiobooks on Overdrive at whatever pace you’d like – even chipmunk-speed double time.

    21. Download Libby to your smartphone and test it out. Overdrive will be phasing out its old app soon in favor of this new, easier-to-use app.

    22. Don’t feel like you have enough time to read? Try a graphic novel.

    23. Read an award-winning book.
      Newbery  
      Caldecott 
      Printz 
      National Book Award 
      Nebula 
      Pulitzer 

    24. Or, read a Goodreads Choice book selected by fellow readers. Make sure to vote for your 2017 favorites at the end of the year!

    25. Cuddle your pet while reading.

      Gloomy Days are the Best
      Image by Cat Versus Human

    26. Ask a librarian for a book recommendation.

    27. Visit a used bookstore like Pioneer Book.

    28. Learn a new skill from a nonfiction book.

    29. Try your hand at writing a book.

    30. Sign up for NaNoWriMo and commit to write an entire novel in November.

    31. Use Novelist to find books you might like.

    32. Does your place of employment have a waiting room? Stock it with books, including picture books for young readers.

    33. Is the library missing a book you’d like to read? Submit a purchase request, and we might just buy it.

    34. Or, see if we can borrow it from another library for you. It's free!
    35. Some books always seeem to be checked out. Place one on hold to make sure you're next in line!

    36. Take a look at our librarians’ favorite children’s, teen, and adult books from last year, and make plans to attend next year’s Best Books program in February

    37. Set aside a specific amount of time each day for reading.

    38. Give a book as a gift.

    39. Learn about our early literacy workshops for children ages 2-3 and their parents/caregivers.
       
    40. Create a cozy reading spot in your home.

      Reading nook
      Source

    41. Try reading a book in a format you don’t usually use – eBooks, digital audiobooks, books on cd, or maybe even a printed book.

    42. Read a book from an unfamiliar genre.

    43. If you’re a teen, sign up for our Teen Volunteer Board. You can help make the library even better!

    44. Did you know the Provo City Libray and the Orem Public Library have a reciprocal agreement where their patrons can use both libraries? Get a library card at the Orem Library if you don’t already have one, and double your library options!

    45. Plan to bring your children to Library Kids for books and literacy-based crafts and activities.

    46. Make sure your kids see you reading for fun. They're more likely to love reading if they know you do.

    47. Register for Parent/Child Book Clubs in September.

    48. Watch a film adaptation of a great book.

    49. Read the book one of your favorite film adaptations is based on.

    50. Sign up for a library tour to learn about the fascinating history of this beautiful building or about how to use the library more effectively. 

      Library at Dusk Summer 019.2

    51. Know a Provo resident who doesn’t have a library card? Encourage them to get one by sharing what you love about the library and how easy it is to set up an account.

    52. Reread your favorite parts of your favorite book.

    53. Finally pick up that classic book you’ve been meaning to read for years.

    54. Have a struggling reader at home? Have them read to a pet.

    55. Or a stuffed animal.

    56. If you have kids age 4 and younger, pledge to read 1000 books with them before kindergarten

    57. Recommend a book to a friend.

    58. Build your home library by buying a book you love.

    59. Volunteer to read to seniors at a retirement home.

    60. Encourage your children to talk about what they’re reading by asking lots of open-ended questions.

    61. Read the books your children love to make these conversations even better.

    62. Gather friends and family for silent reading time.

    63. Set a reading goal for the rest of the year.

    64. Carry a book with you all day.

    65. Become a #bookstagrammer.

      Essays by E.B. WhiteImage by @oliverskywolfoliverskywolf

    66. Upcycle a book into art.

    67. Buy a book for $2 at our used bookstore.

    68. Revisit a childhood favorite.

    69. Visit Buzzfeed to take endless “which book character are you?” quizzes.

    70. Plan a literary-themed Halloween costume.

    71. Start a little free library.

    72. Tuck a friendly note into a book donation for the person who buys it.

    73. Make a new recipe from a cookbook.

    74. Reorganize your bookshelves.

    75. Run out of shelf space? Buy and set up a new bookshelf. You can never have too many.
      Not Enough Bookshelves

     

  • book clubs

    Most of us know the joy of being part of a book club – great conversation, tasty treats, and the opportunity to read outside of our typical (book) “box.”

    But have you thought about passing that happiness along to your kids? Here at the library, we have parent/child book clubs during the school year for kids ages 9-12, and boy, do we ever have a grand old time! If you’ve never joined us before, give it a whirl. Registration begins on the 1st of each month.

    But maybe your budding readers would enjoy starting their very own book club! Did you know that, in addition to our book club sets for adults, we also have book club sets for kids? Whether they enjoy something funny, fantastical, or adventurous, we’ve got a set just for them. Just check the reservation calendar for an available set, submit your request, and then pick up the full set of 15 books from the First FloorReference Desk. The books, along with a helpful book club guide, will be snug as a bug in a handy canvas bag, ready to go. The whole set will be yours to share with your group for six weeks!

    Involving your kids in a book club is fun; children often enjoy being able to discuss what they’ve read with their friends and why they love (or hate!) a certain story or character. However, there’s also a lot of value in this process. According to PBSparents, discussions at kids’ book clubs help children “develop a deeper understanding of books, consider others’ perspectives on the same book and practice analyzing” the books they read.

    So give it a try! Come join us for one of our book clubs, start your own, or discuss a book that you’ve read together as a family. You may just be surprised by the profound little thoughts that are shared!

  • book club 2

    I recently shared my top five reasons for starting or joining a book club in 2018, and, as promised, I’m here today to share how to keep that club going strong. 

    As I thought about things that help a book club succeed, I realized I had tips both for getting started and for keeping things going, so today we’ll focus on the former. It’s all too easy for a book club to drift out of existence when schedules, reading preferences, and inconsistency get in the way. Making these few key decisions ahead of time can make all the difference.

    Decide ahead of time:

    1. Who to include in your book club
      This is probably the most important component of a successful book group. In my opinion, it’s best to keep things small if you want a lasting club, as larger groups tend to fall apart more easily because people don’t feel responsible to participate. My club, Team Don't Read Crappy Books, has ended up with nine members, which works well for us. As harsh as it sounds, it’s okay to bump people from the group if by the third meeting they haven’t read any books or participated in any meetings. You can always let them back in at a later time if they want to recommit (do I sound like a book club snob yet?).

      If your group is tight-knit, be sure everyone in the group is on board if you want to invite someone new to join later on. Longterm friends are your best bet, especially if they know multiple people in the club. Our group member who joined later is a cousin and roommate of one group member, an old friend of another, and had already met several of us. She's been a great addition who we were all comfortable with adding.

      More than anything, I encourage you to choose group members who are comfortable with similar levels of language and adult content as you are. It’s not at all necessary to have the same taste in book genres, but you’ll have a frustrating time trying to agree on books if some of your club members want only squeaky clean reads while others are comfortable with some dark or adult content. Think about what you’re comfortable reading (and what you aren’t okay with reading), and find group members who feel similarly. I promise it will make things easier. 

    2. How often you’ll meet
      My book club definitely struggles with this (balancing schedules is hard!), but we aim to meet every other month. It might help your group to have a set day of every month or every other month when you meet. If you’d like to use the Provo Library’s book club sets, you’ll want to meet every six weeks so that it’s easy to rotate sets. Whatever you choose, consistency is key. 

    3. How books will be chosen
      There are a few options for choosing what book you should read. Team Don’t Read Crappy Books rotates hosts, and the host chooses what we’ll read. This has worked well for us and has led to more variety in what we read. Another option is to choose as a group what you’ll read, which can work especially well if you’re checking out book club sets, as the more popular sets need to be reserved months in advance

      Like I mentioned above, it’s a good idea to know ahead of time what your group is comfortable reading. Lay the ground rules of what content you’re okay with in your very first meeting. It’s also a good idea to have a page number limit so that club members have enough time to finish the book before meeting. We’ve found a 500 page limit to be a good guideline, but we’re flexible about it. 

    4. How club members will get copies of the book
      Will one member of your club reserve, pick up, hand out, collect, and return a book club set from the library? Will that club member change each time or always be the same person? Will each member be responsible for buying or checking out their own book? Decide ahead of time how you want this to work. 

    5. How your club will communicate
      Team Don’t Read Crappy Books has a private Facebook group that is a perfect means of communicating for us. We use it to announce what we’ll be reading next, share pictures and happy news (book related or not), and decide when to meet. The polls feature is especially useful when we’re trying to figure out a meeting time that works for everyone. Facebook works for us, but group texts and emails are also good options.
  • book club 2

    So you've put together a great group for book club, and everyone's excited to get reading. If it's your turn, hosting can feel intimidating, but hopefully these tips will help.

    1. Choose books carefully
      If you're choosing what the group reads, be thoughtful about your selection, and don’t leave it to the last minute. Be mindful of what the group will enjoy and have a good discussion about. It can help if you or someone else in the club have already read the book. That way no one is caught off guard by content and you know you'll have plenty of topics to discuss. If a few group members have already read it, don't hesitate to choose the book anyway. Chances are they'll enjoy the month off and will still be excited to discuss their thoughts.

      Be sure to mix things up as far as genre and audience go. Contemporary adult literature, historical fiction, and classics don't have to be your only options. YA and children's lit provide plenty of depth and a wonderful change of pace from typical book club reads, as do fantasy, science fiction, mysteries, and nonfiction.

      Still feel a little overwhelmed by options? Bring it to the group! Even though the host selects the book each month in our club, they typically discuss options with all of us before making the final call.

    2. Review the book before you meet
      Even if you’ve just read the book, doing a quick refresher on timelines, character names, and themes is a good idea. Sparknotes or Shmoop are perfect tools for this. I’ve been guilty of skipping this step and have been amazed at how much I’ve forgotten in the moment. It’s helpful to do as a book club attendee too.

    3. Plan out discussion topics and questions
      You might think discussion will happen organically, and occasionally it does, but more often than not, you’ll need a plan. Discussion guides are easy to find online for classic and popular books at sites like LitLovers and Reading Group Guides. Author interviews or biographical articles also add a great depth to conversation.

      If the book you’ve chosen is one of our library book club sets, you’re in even better luck. Even if you aren’t checking out book club set, we’ve already done the research for you and have discussion guides and relevant articles for each book available on our website (see an example here). 

    4. Let them eat cake (or buffalo wings)
      You don’t have to go all out, but refreshments can help loosen the mood and make things more fun. Don’t feel like cooking? My group often meets at restaurants, sometimes in ways that are vaguely related to the book (we met at Wingers while discussing CODE NAME VERITY, for instance).

    5. Allow time for casual chatting
      Book club is about books, but it’s also about friendship. We usually spend a good hour catching up on each other’s lives before discussing what we’ve read, and we don’t feel guilty about it at all. It’s all about finding a balance.

    Well, faithful readers, that brings our series on book clubs to an end. What did we miss? Why do you love your book club? How have you kept it alive and thriving?

  • When Book Groups Cant Meet 

    Being stuck at home can disrupt a lot of day-to-day life, and book clubs are no exception!  If you need to stay home, but are missing the ability to meet and connect with others (especially to discuss books!), there are a few tools that can help.

    Group Chat and Videoconference Software

    There are a few free products that allow groups to communicate together instantly without the need for long email threads.  Both Slack and Facebook, among others, have instant messaging service that can be used on devices or computers, and instant message groups can be created that can chat together.  There are also several videoconferencing software options, although many of them will only facilitate one-to-one video calls.  Skype can broadcast free video calls to groups of up to 25 individuals, and can also be used for group chats and photo and file sharing.  For multiple video streams, Zoom can pull in up to 50 streams at the same time.  It offers video, audio, and screensharing, as well as group messaging, although there is a time limit for the free version.  Freeconferencecall also provides teleconferencing for up to 24 people, and as an added bonus, calls can be recorded for viewing later on.

    What about reading a book together?

    Getting enough copies of a book can be difficult when supplies and mobility are limited, but thanks to Overdrive's Always Available Audiobooks, everyone in your book club can still access books!  "Always Available" means that there are no waiting lists and no check-out limits on individual titles.  Everyone in your group can check them out and start listening right now!  Overdrive maintains 75 Always Available Audiobooks (the list changes periodically to allow for fresh titles).  Currently, 10 of those titles are books included in the Provo City Library’s book club collection, and following is a list of those titles and links to our discussion guides with questions that can help facilitate your group’s discussion.

    3.18 The Goose GirlTHE GOOSE GIRL
    By Shannon Hale
    (2003)

    The Goose Girl Discussion Guide

     

    3.18 The Screwtape LettersTHE SCREWTAPE LETTERS
    By C.S. Lewis
    (1942)

    The Screwtape Letters Discussion Guide

     

    3.18 The Count of Monte CristoTHE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO
    By Alexandre Dumas
    (1844)

    The Count of Monte Cristo Discussion Guide

     

    3.18 The Hiding PlaceTHE HIDING PLACE
    By Corrie Ten Boom
    (1971)

    The Hiding Place Discussion Guide

     

    3.18 Next Year in HavanaNEXT YEAR IN HAVANA
    By Chanel Cleeton
    (2018)

    Next Year in Havana Discussion Guide

     

    3.18 Nothing to EnvyNOTHING TO ENVY
    By Barbara Demick
    (2009)

    Nothing to Envy Discussion Guide

     

    3.18 Little WomenLITTLE WOMEN
    By Louisa May Alcott
    (1868)

    Little Women Discussion Guide

     

    3.18 The Life changing Magic of Tidying UpTHE LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING UP
    By Marie Kondo
    (2014)

    The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up Discussion Guide

     

    3.18 The Year of LessTHE YEAR OF LESS
    By Cait Flanders
    (2018)

    The Year of Less Discussion Guide

     

    3.18 Pride and PrejudicePRIDE AND PREJUDICE
    By Jane Austen
    (1813)

    Pride and Prejudice Discussion Guide

     
  • book club

    January 5th will mark my book club's four year anniversary. Team Don’t Read Crappy Books (sorry about the name, but we have T-shirts and everything – we think we’re funny) has hit a few bumps along the way, but I can still confidently declare it a rousing success.

    In my next post I’ll share some tips for keeping your book club alive, but it may just be that you need convincing to join one in the first place. With that in mind, here are my top five reasons to start or join a book club:

    1. TO DEVELOP FRIENDSHIPS
      Book clubs offer a great way to make new friends or, as is the case for me, to stay in touch with old ones. After years of talking about it, my college friends and I finally got around to starting one in 2014 because we were finishing school, changing jobs, starting families, and spreading out throughout Utah and Salt Lake Counties. We weren’t seeing each other as often, and book club provided a structured way to get together regularly. Those ladies are my closest friends, and I think meeting every other month for book club is a significant part of that.

    2. TO EXPAND YOUR READING HORIZONS
      It’s easy to get stuck in a personal reading rut and avoid new genres, but in a club of diverse readers, you’re sure to avoid that. There have been a few books chosen by my club members that I never would have read on my own and initially felt wary about, but they’ve ended up sparking great discussion. Book club sometimes forces me out of my reading comfort zone, and that’s a good thing.

    3. TO HAVE REQUIRED READING
      This might sound weird (who wants homework, right?), but hear me out. As a librarian, I read constantly, but when Team Don’t Read Crappy Books was founded, I was in the midst of grad school and barely found time for recreational reading. Our club forced me to prioritize reading, and it was a delight to read for fun without feeling guilty about it. 

    4. TO THINK ABOUT BOOKS IN A NEW WAY
      Outside of school, we sometimes get out of the practice of reading critically. Knowing that an in depth discussion is coming causes me to look for themes and profound quotes and to think them through more deeply than I might when just reading casually. I love hearing my friends’ perspectives and often leave our meetings with an entirely different approach to the book than I came in with.

    5. TO PLAY MATCHMAKER
      Books are my friends. I always wait anxiously for my chance to choose our book club read (it’s my turn again soon!) because it’s an opportunity to introduce the people I love to the stories and words and characters that mean so much to me. What could be better than that?

    So, in the spirit of New Year's resolutions, why not start a book club of your own in 2018? We even have book club sets to make it easier.