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Book experts share strategies for choosing what to read next among so many possibilities

Anne Bogel (at left) of the “What Should I Read Next” podcast and Holland Saltsman, owner of the Novel Neighbor in Webster Groves, both enjoy connecting good books to the right readers.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

When it comes to reading, one person’s great book can be another person’s dull tome.

“As devoted readers know, reading is nothing if not personal … my favorite could bore you to tears, your favorite could put me to sleep,” Anne Bogel told host Don Marsh on Friday’s St. Louis on the Air.

Bogel, the person behind the Modern Mrs. Darcy blog and the podcast What Should I Read Next, joined the talk show along with Holland Saltsman, owner of the Novel Neighbor in Webster Groves. Both women offered a variety of suggestions for choosing what to read next as well as some specific book recommendations to listeners.

Saltsman frequently gets requests for recommendations from the patrons who visit her bookstore, and when she does, she asks a few key questions, she said.

“I sometimes ask what the last great book is that they really liked, or what’s a book that they tell everyone they should read,” she explained. “Or the flipside – just something that somebody recommended to them that they couldn’t put down.”

Bogel added that she’ll often ask readers to describe in depth a book that they really love.

“And I’ll be listening for what they’re interested in in terms of place and character and tone – and whether they have patience for a slowly developing story or whether they will want something that really keeps them turning the pages,” she said.

The conversation also touched on ideas for carving out more time for reading in the course of a busy schedule – and getting young readers more interested in the pastime.

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary EdwardsAlex HeuerEvie Hemphill and Caitlin Lally give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.

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Evie is a producer for "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.

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