The Library Book Selection Game

I tried Book Club Mom’s library book selection game! It goes like this:

  • Close your eyes and run your index finger along the book spines on a library shelf.
  • Stop at a random place and pull out the book.
  • Do this three times on different shelves (so you don’t get the same author), then take the books home.

You should probably check the books out before you take them home!

Read a paragraph from each of the three books in order to decide which book sounds the most appealing. The winner is the book you get to read. It’s a great way to try new genres or authors.

I read a paragraph from page 69 because of something I learned from the Kill Zone blog: Page 69 is past the intro where the author tried really hard to impress, but it’s not at the exciting climax, either. It’s just the ordinary part of the book. If the prose from the ordinary part sounds pretty intriguing, it’s probably an entertaining book.

The three books I blindly picked

Persuader by Lee Child. Pg. 69:

I said nothing back. He moved his hand and nudged one of [the guns] with his knuckles. Then he sent it sliding across the wood toward me. The heavy steel made a hollow reverberant sound on the oak.

Home to Harmony by Philip Gulley. Pg. 69:

Dale Hinshaw thought maybe it was time to hold another revival. Maybe have two revivals a year. He talked about a church in Florida that had a revival every week. Maybe we could do that. Harvey Muldock suggested putting a lottery ticket in each bulletin. Miriam suggested we become sensitive to the Spirit’s leading and begin inviting people to worship with us. They decided to go with the lottery idea.

Scream at the Sky by Carlton Stowers. Pg. 69:

Jamie hung up the phone, checked on her still-sleeping baby, then began pacing. She wanted to begin making calls to locate her friend yet was numbed by the frustrating realization that she knew no one to contact except for Ellen’s coworkers. And that was being done from the Suds ’N Subs. This is stupid, she told herself. Ellen’s going to come walking in any minute, laughing at me for being so worried.

I chuckled at the excerpt from Home to Harmony, so I went with that book. It wasn’t a mistake. When I settled in to read the story properly, the first page had me laughing out loud, and so did many scenes after that. It’s got a nostalgic feel, like The Andy Griffith Show, but with a modern slant.

I bought a new copy of the book and sent it to my small-town Midwestern MIL. She enjoyed it.🙂

The writing is strange. It reads like an anecdotal memoir, and I couldn’t always tell what the point of the scene was except to tell a joke or to define a character. It was an interesting experience for me as a writer to read something so vastly different from my own style. I think I came away better for it with more writing tools at hand.

Wouldn’t this be a fun book-club thing to do? The group wouldn’t be able to discuss the same book as usual. Each member would have to say why he or she picked the one book out of three then say why it ended up being a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down choice.

74 thoughts on “The Library Book Selection Game

  1. What a cool idea! And I didn’t know that about page 69, and after reading the excerpts, it seems to have worked. The humor in Home to Harmony appealed to me too. When I was a younger person, I used to choose books alphabetically. First by the title A-Z, then the author, then both. Not quite as random, but it did introduce me to a lot of new authors and genres. I’m glad you enjoyed the book!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think Scream at the Sky is an important book for those interested in criminal justice. It’s a true crime book, and (not a spoiler) all the bad guys were caught because of stubborn investigators! Thanks for commenting, Valinora!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a super fun way to pick a book AND the reading page 69 suggestion is super interesting too. So clever and really cool to see the picks you made and the one you went with. And it sounds like a great idea for a book club for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That is an inspired idea, Priscilla. On balance, we probably don’t venture outside our comfort zones too often; I know I could stand to be more adventurous with respect to the content I consume. I suppose in a world where we’re always short on time and attention, we opt for books and films that we trust in advance will be worth the effort. But sometimes jumping into something cold is worth the effort, too.


  4. I love the idea, Priscilla! I must try it at some point, and the method to decide which book to read might help decide the order of the many books on my list as well… The paragraph you shared also made me chuckle, so I see why you went with it. Thanks, Priscilla.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Pricsilla
    As a writer, I always have a list of specific books I want read. Then there are the books my editor, my publishers, and other authors send me for reading. I suppose, every professional writer doesn’t need this procedure to find a book for reading. It’s maybe fun for unprofessional readers but I rather think most of the readers know which kinds of books they enjoy. Why should they read something different?
    Thanks & Cheers
    The Fab Four of Cley
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This sounds like such a fun experience. I love when a book can make you smile or laugh out loud, and it sounds like this one ended up doing exactly that. Glad you enjoyed it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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