A 26 year old recent library school grad with a lot of panic about the future and a lot of time to kill, suddenly?
On the librarian front (I’ll get to the personal front a few paragraphs down), read everything. All of it. You want to be a YA librarian, right? Read it all. Especially read outside of your comfort zone. I, for example, can think of a dozen fantastic fantasy books off the top of my head when a patron asks for them but when someone asks for realistic fiction I have to stop and think so that’s a place where I should be reading more.
My Reader’s Advisory professor recommended keeping a notebook where you write down the titles of the books you read as you read them, the date, and then writing down some quick appeal factors. My most recent entry (if I kept up with this like I should) would read “Mousenet. Beitrose. 12/15/11. Realistic Fiction. Talking Animals. Fast Paced. Environmental.” Personally I always forget to fill that out but someone more organized than I could gain a lot from it. What I like to do is make a list of genres and make sure I hit all of them as often as possible. My TBR list is longer than my arm but when I’m deciding what book to read next I tend to think back over what genres I’ve read recently and go for something different/
On the personal front, I found A Family of Readers by Roger Sutton to be inspirational and fantastic. You have Bel Canto by Ann Patchett on your TBR list on goodreads. Move that to #1. Seriously. Read that ASAP. It’s good for the soul. Actualy, mind if I go through your whole goodreads TBR list and tell you what to read as soon as possible? Oh good I’m so glad! Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. It’s funny and fantastic. How the Garcia Girls Lost their Accents is wonderful. Inspiring. A Supposedly fun thing I’ll Never Do Again by David Foster Wallace. I’ve checked his books out of the library so many times! I’ve even bought Infinite Jest. But I’m just so intimidated! But you, my friend, will not be. Read this for me.
And things I don’t see on your goodreads that I think you’ll love. Hereville: How Mirka Got her Sword by Barry Deutsch. The tag line on this book is, “yet another Troll-Fighting 11-year-old Orthodox Jewish Girl.” That’s pretty much all it takes to get me hooked but if you need more know that Mirka may just solve her problems by knitting. Toads and Diamonds by Heather Tomlinson is just a brilliant new look on that old fairy tale about the girls who have things fall out of their mouths whenever they talk. This one always reminds me of Neil Gaiman - not the writing style or how it was put together it just always seemed like a book he would have written (just in a completely different way). Also based on your Goodreads you seem like a fantasy fan who has never read The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure. Abridged by William Goldman. It’s so much better than the movie (and I so very much love the movie).