Monday, February 11, 2013

How not to miss a new release

New books usually hit library and store shelves on Tuesday. The tradition dates back to a time before Saturday service for freight and parcel delivery had become common. A Tuesday release date then gave booksellers almost a full working day (Monday) to receive, process and prepare new titles for their public debut. Additionally, a Tuesday launch attracts customers on what would otherwise be a slow day and gives retailers time to order more copies of an unexpectedly hot title before the busiest part of the week--the weekend. Even though we're not in the bookselling business, the library is contractually obligated to heed publishers' release dates.

If you're the kind of dedicated reader who has bookmarked the New and Featured Titles page of the library's website, you probably already know about Tuesdays. But if your tastes run more to the offbeat than to the best-selling or if you have requested that the library purchase a particular item, knowing the exact release date can be helpful. There are all kinds of labor-intensive ways you could discover and keep track of that information for yourself, but Goodreads now offers its members a more elegant solution. (See example on right.)

Because you're reading this, chances are better than average that you already know about Goodreads. If not, suffice it to say that Goodreads has been called "Facebook for book nerds" and "the antisocial social-networking site." It's great. Goodreads members can keep track of what they have read and what they want to read as well as rate, review and discuss books. A few months ago Goodreads began sending members an e-mail notice on the day that a book on their "to-read" list is released. This has turned out to be a most welcome service.

So if you're looking for a surefire way to make sure you don't miss the release of your favorite author's next book, give Goodreads a try. If you are already a Goodreads member, consider "friending" GCPL and your favorite librarians or joining our discussion group. See you there!

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