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Add Some Serendipity to Your Reading

Serendipity: luck that takes the form of finding valuable or pleasant things that are not looked for

-Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online

"I love in rainbow." Courtesy of Flickr user D. Sharon Pruitt (Purple Sherbet Photography)
“I love in rainbow.” Courtesy of Flickr user D. Sharon Pruitt (Purple Sherbet Photography)

The summer before I started middle school, my mom went back to work full time.  This meant that I needed looking after during the day. She worked something out with another local mom who had daughters about my age, and I spent many a long afternoon sitting on their couch, marveling over the fact that they didn’t have cable, and in some small way cultivating the reading habit that has always stayed with me. One of my summer playmates happened to be reading a book that I had never heard of at the time, but maybe you have, just this awesome little novel called Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

This is my story that captures the magic (pun intended) of finding a great book out of pure luck and random circumstances, but I’m sure all avid readers have one that is just as meaningful.  Technically there is no way to add serendipity to your reading as it is, by nature, accidental, but here are some things you can do to invite those lucky bookish moments into your life.

In Your Library

Being a librarian, I’m rather biased in favor of libraries, but truly they are one of the best low maintenance ways to find new and interesting books.  After all, you don’t have to pay for them.  Library professionals are typically quite good at creating book displays, and are always looking to vary up their displays by theme.  Browsing the displays is a great way to discover a book you may not have otherwise heard of. Library book sales are also great, usually very cheap, routes of discovery.  If you’ve got a few hours, wander a library book sale and see what catches your eye, but be careful, you may take home a few tons of books.  And, of course, get to know your librarian! I can’t tell you how many times I have been reading a book and thought, “I know that (insert name here) would love this!” If a librarian gets to know what you like, they might end up serving as your own personal book scout and give you random, surprising recommendations.  Continue reading Add Some Serendipity to Your Reading

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