TBPL knows that Thunder Bay readers rely on our staff for reading suggestions. Unfortunately, the pandemic brought all those in-person conversations to a halt. In response, I decided to try something new with another staff member: a weekly web program focusing on readers’ advisory called Read This Next. This was one of TBPL’s first attempts at video creation and I will admit that early episodes have some awkward pauses, visible nerves, formatting mixups, and other technical difficulties. It’s intimidating to record yourself and know it is going online for everyone to see, but as time goes on, we have become more at ease on camera.  

So who will you meet if you tune into Read This Next? I am one of the two co-hosts and have worked as a TBPL Librarian for almost ten years. I read widely across all genres, but lean to science fiction over fantasy and thrillers over romance. My most recent five star read was The Subtweet, by Canadian author Vivek Shraya, and the book I’ve re-read the most over the last year is probably Little Owl Lost by Chris Haughton – it’s one of my son’s favourites. My reading pace has definitely slowed down in recent years, and one reason I enjoy doing the show is that it pushes me to keep picking up new titles (and chip away at my far too long to-read list). 

Nicole has also worked at TBPL for almost ten years and is one of our Community Hub Technicians. She reads a lot of fantasy novels and one of her favourite authors is Kelley Armstrong. If you are or know a teen, definitely check out the volunteer opportunities and programs she is coordinating over on tbpl.ca/teens or follow @tbplteens on Instagram for updates.  

Every week, we cover a new topic or genre and talk about titles published for both adults and young adults. Recently, we’ve made an early start on the spooky season by covering witches and haunted spaces, but that doesn’t mean we only talk about fantasy fiction. One of our earliest episodes was about romance reads, and we have also covered Canadian literature. We are open to any kind of theme suggestion, so if you would like us to talk about your favourite style of book to read, email us at readthisnext@tbpl.ca and let us know! 

Episodes begin with “books with buzz.” These titles are often award-winners or bestsellers. In the second section, we make personal recommendations of books we’ve read. These suggestions are often (but not always) lesser known authors or works we want to promote. When selecting titles, we try to include a variety of authors with different backgrounds, orientations, and nationalities. You can find plot descriptions and complete author info about any books mentioned during a Read This Next episode on tbplofftheshelf.com, the TBPL blog. Depending on time, we might then talk about other books we’ve been reading or interesting news from the publishing world.

Wondering where can you watch Read This Next? All past episodes are archived at youtube.com/tbpl and on the TBPL Facebook page under the Videos section. New episodes appear every Friday afternoon at two pm at both of those locations, and you can also watch us on Shaw Spotlight Monday through Saturday at 1pm or 9pm, or Sundays at 12pm or 9pm. 

Laura Prinselaar – www.tbpl.ca. If you have a comment about today’s column, we would love to hear from you. Email us at readthisnext@tbpl.ca or comment below.

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