A character on a show I just watched referred to quiz fans and list makers as “compulsive neurotics”. I’ll accept that, if it means I don’t have to feel guilty about enjoying trivia websites, like Sporcle, and book lists.
I suspect list-readers enjoy the frisson of pleasure when we learn that a favorite book, or a guilty secret, is known and loved by others. We also must like how lists help us decide. When I go to a bookstore to browse, it’s difficult to know where to begin. Adult or YA, sci-fi or fantasy, classic or newly published — or that reliable default setting, the cookbook section. Then I end up spending more money than I had planned, and come home with a menacing stack of books.
A list, on the other hand, eases the anxiety of over-choice. Right now I’m using the Newbery Award list to guide my reading choices for the summer — if it isn’t on the list (winner or honoree), I can’t read it. Yet.
KidLit, the List comes to us courtesy of Steve K Smy at his Imagineer-ing blog. He asks his readers to send recommendations of favorite books for readers up to age 16. A crowd-sourced reading list! Yay! And, unlike GoodReads, it’s a small crowd (for now), there are no forums or discussion groups to join, and no rankings. Just a list. So simple.
If you have a favorite you’d like to see on the list, let Steve know. The recommendation form is simple to complete, so you have no excuse not to participate.