© Herald photo by Tyler Clarke
John M. Cuelenaere Public Library staffers Ted Snow, Sharon Nelson, Greg Elliott and Gail Evans, from left, gather around Elliott‚Äôs pick for favourite book of the moment -- ‚ÄúThe Martian‚ÄĚ by Andy Weir.
Librarians take out their share of the more than 20,000 books lent out per month at the John M. Cuelenaere Public Library.
In advance of Thursday‚Äôs World Book Day, the Daily Herald stopped by the library to gather the latest book news from local librarians, as well as which books they‚Äôre currently keen on endorsing.
Reporting a gradual rise in e-book and e-audio book loans, deputy director Greg Elliott said that they‚Äôre up to about 500 electronic loans per month -- still significantly shy of the 20,000 print editions taken out.
‚ÄúE-books still tend to be a bit of a new format, and so people are still used to taking out the print books,‚ÄĚ he explained.
‚ÄúOver time, of course there will be a change, but who knows when that breaking point will happen.‚ÄĚ
There‚Äôs one thing he‚Äôs certain of -- print is here to stay.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs physical and people tend to have an emotional attachment to it,‚ÄĚ he said, noting print‚Äôs multi-generational appeal.
‚ÄúBabies today enjoy chewing their books,‚ÄĚ he said with a chuckle. ‚ÄúThey like the touch, they like the feel, they like the taste, strangely enough.‚ÄĚ
Lifting a copy of his favourite book of the moment, Elliott said that The Martian by Andy Weir was quick to hook him in.
The hard science fiction novel about an astronaut who‚Äôs stranded on Mars due to a dust storm remains ‚Äúquite believable,‚ÄĚ he explained.
‚ÄúThe science was quite accurate and the development of the character was very good,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúThe insight into space exploration was intelligent, and it was quite amusing.
‚ÄúWhether it‚Äôs fiction or non-fiction I look for something that can expand my impressions of the world and force me to think.‚ÄĚ
Fellow librarian Ted Snow shares this sentiment, although his reading preference is non-fiction.
Snow‚Äôs recommendation is ‚ÄúThe Blank Slate‚ÄĚ by Stephen Pinker -- a book he said is ‚Äúabout human nature and whether when we‚Äôre born ‚Ä¶ like a blank slate or do we have a personality that‚Äôs already there.‚ÄĚ
He explained that non-fiction books more easily absorb his attention, in that they teach him more about the real world around him.
I love the fantasy, because our world is very stressful and you can just escape into the world of the elves and the dwarfs and the hobbits. Sharon Nelson
Using books as more an escape than Snow does, librarian Sharon Nelson‚Äôs current picks include the body of work by J.R.R. Tolkein -- particularly The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings series.
‚ÄúI like a good plot and good character development,‚ÄĚ she said.
‚ÄúI love the fantasy, because our world is very stressful and you can just escape into the world of the elves and the dwarfs and the hobbits.‚ÄĚ
A blend of Snow and Nelson‚Äôs preferences, Gail Evans recommends author Patricia Shaw‚Äôs historical fiction series about the pioneers who colonized Australia.
It‚Äôs through fictional accounts like these, and similar ones about Canada, that help shape one‚Äôs understanding of why people settled where they settled, she explained.
Throwing another favourite book into the mix, Nelson recommends parents read their children ‚ÄúMy Lucky Day,‚ÄĚ by Keiko Kasza -- a humorous story about an intelligent pig who outsmarts a hungry fox.
‚ÄúIt opens up their world right away, and it‚Äôs how they learn -- by reading,‚ÄĚ she said, adding that it‚Äôs important that parents teach their children the importance of books.
‚ÄúIt keeps them away from all the screen time.‚ÄĚ
All of the books that local library staff members recommend are available at the library, either through their on-site collection or inter-library loans.
Marking World Book Day on Thursday, the John M. Cuelenaere Public Library will host their final Read with the Raiders event, wherein children are encouraged to attend the library where local WHL hockey players will read to them.
The final Read with the Raiders event will begin at 5:30 p.m., and will be capped off with a draw, wherein the winner will become a Prince Albert Daily Herald reporter for a day.
The winning youngster will attend a Prince Albert Raiders home game with a Daily Herald reporter and help interview players for a story that will appear in the newspaper.