Exercise 6: Readers Advisory




Reader’s Advisory

A patron walks up to you and says, “I loved Gone Girl. What should I read next?” After a brief moment of panic, what do you reach for? While you could turn to Google, you’ll probably end up with books the library doesn’t own and no idea why a specific book would be a good suggestion. You could go to our catalog, look up the book, and check under the similar tab. But what happens when the patron has already tried those suggestions? We suggest you reach for the Novelist database. You can find a link to Novelist from the SAPL Databases page.


On first glance, NoveList can seem a bit overwhelming, with all the different options it offers. (You can search for retellings of Folktales from Asia, stories featuring strong females, or something to make you cry.) But we’ll focus on our patron’s quest for more like Gone Girl. Enter the title of the item –in this case Gone Girl– in the keyword search box and click on Search (or Press Enter).


Select Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Then scroll down and next to the Reviews there is a tab called “More About this Book”. If you click on this tab, you will see the Appeal Factors related to this particular book. All these characteristics are hyperlinked for easy searching. Appeal Factors are elements of the book that appeal to—or sometimes repel—readers. In this case the reader might have enjoyed that Gone Girl presents an intricately plotted story. Or maybe the reader enjoyed the challenge of having an unreliable narrator.

ggappeal factors
A little bit further down on the page are again all the appeal factors but with check boxes to the left of each factor. Select the checkboxes to find similar books. Choose the appeal factor(s) most important to your reader. Be careful about selecting too many of the boxes as you might just end up with the book you started off with as your only search result.

ggsearch factors





Please name this blog entry: Lesson 6 Challenge

Think of a book you have read, or pick a title that you have been recently asked about, and see what similar books you are able to find using the Appeal Factors.
We hope you enjoyed our mini-lesson on NoveList, but please remember that SAPL also offers RA assistance through LibGuides. (For example, The Dystopian Novels LibGuide can help you suggest a new apocalypse for your readers.) If you’re interested in learning more about tools to help in RA—or in getting a refresher training on basic RA—please contact Cristine Mitchamore or Tricia Masterson at Central.



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2 comments on “Exercise 6: Readers Advisory
  1. Francisco Rodriguez says:

    I read the information about the Novelist database. I thought it was ok and something new. But, I thought it was faster to find books on Amazon.com. When you search for a title at Amazon, their website then recommends other books that customers have been ordering with their purchase of Gone Girl.

    Thanks for letting me know about Novelist. This is something else I can add to growing list of computer skills. This helps build my work portfolio.

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