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Monday, July 22, 2013

Overheard at... the Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland


Listen to the fragrance.”
This line from a poem inscribed in the Lan Su garden has haunted me since I read and blogged about it a year ago (Overheard at... Art in the Pearl). I love the idea that our senses can be used to understand what is beyond our traditional comprehension. As Romancing the Genres plunges into the heat of August, we bring with us a focus on reader resources, spotlighting guest bloggers on the topics or book reviews, book clubs, and libraries. More than the blogs themselves, I am looking forward to hearing comments from our readers (wink, wink… that would be you!) about which resources they use to help them choose books.

Obviously dedicated readers know all about Goodreads and are probably well trained in how to use the Amazon system to narrow down their favorite picks. My husband is a pro, for example at searching Amazon for new books coming out by his favorite authors and then saving them to his wishlist or getting on the waiting list for when they are available at the library.

But when I look back, it seems like my favorite books have found me. I have been riding on a train and seen a cover that struck me, or been searching for one book and found something entirely different that called out to me. Like the moment when we ‘listen to a fragrance,’ sensing the presence of a great book is sometimes so unconscious I am not even sure most of us could articulate why or how it happened. All we know is that we walked into Barnes and Noble prepared to buy The Hunger Games (because, of course, we saw it mentioned on some great blog or something;>) and walked out with a copy of love poems.

And if sometimes that relationship, like many, deceives us and we sell the book back to Powells for a pittance, well, so be it. Because the very best reader resource I know is our own open mind and our willingness to try.
By Genre-ista: Deanne Wilsted
@dwilsted

3 comments:

Paty Jager said...

Great post, Deanne!

Sarah Raplee said...

Loved this post! I have indeed found great books by 'listening to the fragrance.' Perhaps it has something to do with intentions and synchronicities, or intuition, or plain old luck. Whatever it is, having an open mind and a willingness to try something new is essential for taking advantage - as you said.

Judith Ashley said...

I've found some 'keeper' books by trying a debut author or someone new to me. I found several when I went on a buying binge when Borders closed and had the final days sales. I've read something someone has recommended and realized I did like the story even though the cover had been a turnoff.

And, when I've read the book two or more times, I know there is a special connection between the story/characters and me. You are right in saying our open mind and our willingness to try new authors and new genres is a powerful reader resource.