I need to start a book recommendation service - a sort of library's Information Services/Book Advisory for people who aren't in the library at the moment. I need to do this because I am doing it!
Last week at the dentist - the tech was a young mom, and I told her about Nina Planck's Real Food: What to Eat and Why. Her pediatrician had recommended more milk for her children - for the sake of the calcium - which is so far behind current research it made me say, "Well, that never made much sense to me," and then we had this conversation, which included the young mom talking about all the web research she's been doing, and in reference to herself and her husband, "because we don't know" - as if creating the healthy family table is as specialized a knowledge and skills set at building a house or designing a working windmill. Idiosyncratic, even. And fraught with peril because of things like eating disorders and parenting and power relationships and taste buds (kids have more of them than adults do).
I recommend a book to someone every time I'm at the dentist, I think. And I do it in ordinary conversations with people all the time. I do it when I'm getting my hair cut - or talking to one of my kids - or even when I'm working at the library, where all the books are! (And I think it's a little amusing that one of the conversations the coworkers have all day long at the library is the one about books and which ones we are reading and which ones we are waiting for and which ones we have on hold and which ones other people are reading. Libraries are havens for Geeks Like Me.)
I don't think I'm being obnoxious about it. The people I talk to don't smile faintly, nod their heads placatingly, or "uh-huh" me into silence. They write down titles and authors and thank me pretty earnestly. (Or, in the case of library coworkers, they place holds.)
So I think this whole thing might be more useful if I could figure out how to start an "Ask Me" site.
If you could log on to a site and type in a situation or question or interest, and then click the button that says, "Recommendation Please," would you use it? If the real person on the other end was not using a computer generated method, but was personally finding material for you, would you be okay with an email asking for more specifics? I suspect I could generate income for this if I allowed advertisements on this site ... would ads be off-putting?
Whaddaya think? Comment - either privately or on this post. Is this a good idea?