The Reading List: Additional Information

The Reading List Selection Criteria

A book may be selected for The Reading List for at least one, and preferably more than one of the following reasons:

  • It is a pleasure to read.
  • It embodies the standards of the genre, or conversely, it offers a new or unexpected take on those standards.
  • It is well conceived in terms of story line, character, setting, language, dialogue, tone, pace, detail, description, learning/experiencing, and narrative structure.

In the context of the list, genre literature is defined as works clearly intended to be read by the general public as genre literature. Each book is considered in relation to both the general adult reader and to the avid fans of the genre.

Books will not be excluded on the basis of their unsuitability for younger readers.

Books intended for a younger audience but which hold wide appeal for adults and meet the selection criteria may also be considered.

Serving on The Reading List Council

Librarians interested in serving on the Council must be members of ALA, RUSA, and CODES. A strong background in readers’ advisory service or collection development (preferably both) is the major qualification sought when appointments are made. Past service in CODES, geographic location, and type of library are also considered. No two members of the same library can serve on the Council at the same time.

If you are interested in serving on the Council, contact the current vice-chair of CODES for more information.

Submission Guidelines for The Reading List

The Reading List Council compiles a monthly list of titles to consider. This list is e-mailed to the respective publishers along with a letter of instruction. Timely response to these requests is deeply appreciated by the Council.

Publishers are welcome to send additional books as they see fit if they believe they meet the criteria for consideration. Publishers should be aware that the Council reads hundreds of books each year, and while individual members do indeed read and make formal requests for non-solicited books to be added to the consideration list, this is not a typical occurrence.

Publishers who wish to send non-requested books have two options:

  1. Any publisher who has received a current letter of request may send additional books to the Council members listed in said letter.
  2. Publishers who have not received a current letter of request may contact the chair of the Council . The chair will discuss with the publisher the type of books eligible for consideration and assist the publisher in the process of distribution of titles to Council members.

Authors should speak to their publishers if they wish their book to be sent to the members of the Council.