By Shannan Starnes Rosa, MSLS, Collection Development Librarian for Adult Materials
A Community Reads project can be a great way to draw a community together by reading the same book at the same time. The local public library can take a leadership role in selecting a title that people will want to read, and in making sure copies of the book are available for participants. Ingram is happy to help make your Community Reads project as easy as possible.
Choosing a Title
With hundreds of thousands of possibilities available, it can be daunting to choose just one. You’d want to pick something that will have wide appeal to readers, will spark their imaginations and inspire interesting discussions. You’ll find a few ideas to consider below.
Book Group Titles
Many publishers offer lists of titles that they recommend for book groups, and sometimes they produce book club editions that include discussion questions and other supplementary materials in the back pages. These tend to be high-quality literary fiction titles. Check individual publishers’ websites for more information.
Participants might be enticed by the prospect of reading and discussing a hot new title.
Local and Regional Authors
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to support the work of someone from your own community? Perhaps a local author would be willing to participate in your Community Reads project in some way, to give a presentation or attend a book discussion.
Movie and TV Tie-Ins
Perhaps fans of a popular movie or TV show would like to read the book it was originally based on, to give them a fuller understanding and experience of the source material.
Some books have staying power and become culturally important due to various factors: historical significance, quality of the writing, uniqueness of the author’s voice. Many classics have universal themes that are as relevant to today’s readers as they were when they were written. For example, Frankensteinbrings up issues of the ethics of science that tie in with modern debates on such topics as GMOs and vaccines. Huckleberry Finn touches on issues of race and justice that continue to shape American history.
You may wish to choose a title that is available in various formats to maximize its accessibility and the number of participants who will be able to enjoy it. See if your title is available in Large Print, Audio and Ebook formats in addition to regular print.
You’ll want to make sure that the title you choose is available for purchase in the quantities you need. Many of the most popular titles are already stocked in multiple quantities in Ingram warehouses. If you don’t see enough copies on iPage of the title you want, go ahead and order it anyway because chances are good that the publisher will have stock in their warehouse and they will be able to ship it to us so we can ship it to you. Many of the publishers we work with participate in a “gap” program, which means that they are set up with Lightning Source to print copies on demand when they don’t have enough stock on hand to cover a spike in orders. Ingram can ship these titles as quickly as those on our warehouse shelves.
Time is Of the Essence
We encourage you to go ahead and choose your title and order your copies as far in advance as possible, because we don’t want you to be disappointed. You may wish to explore pre-pub titles you are considering via ipage or Edelweiss.
Ask your sales rep to check on a title for you if you are concerned about being able to receive enough copies on time, and Ingram will do our very best to accommodate you. If you’d like our Collection Development Librarians to offer title suggestions for Community Reads or for any other project you’ve got going on, let us know at CollDevHelp@ingramcontent.com.