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Genreflecting is the process of examining and analyzing the patterns and characteristics of literary genres--both fiction and recreational nonfiction; and using that analysis to identify titles with similar appeals to readers (i.e., read-alikes), in order to make reading suggestions to inidividuals who are seeking their next read. The term "genreflecting" was first coined by Betty Rosenberg, a prominent Library Science educator, who also wrote a book Genreflecting: A Guide to Reading Interests in Genre Fiction (Libraries Unlimited, 1982). Since that time, the term has been commonly adopted by Readers' Advisors in libraries and extended to nonfiction genres as well as fiction. A similar practice in retail bookstores is called "hand-selling".

At the time the first edition of Genreflecting was written, adding popular reading materials to library collections and recommending those titles to readers were controversial practices. Dr. Rosenberg's motto "Never apologize for your reading taste" has since been adopted by growing numbers of librarians; and the field of Readers' Advisory has become increasingly central to the practice of librarianship. Nancy Pearl, the well known model of the Librarian action figure and author of Book Lust and More Book Lust (Sasquatch, 2003 and 2005 respectively) has promoted and further popularized the practice of readers' advisory within the library community and beyond. In recent years, a number of online databases have been developed to assist readers' advisors find "read-alikes", including What Do I Read Next? (Gale Thomson), NoveList (EBSCO), The Reader's Advisor Online (Greenwood Publishing Group), Fiction Connection (Bowker), and Booklist Online (American Library Association).

To learn more about the practice of Readers' Advisory and genreflecting, consult recent editions of Genreflecting (by Diana Tixier Herald, edited by Wayne Wiegand; The Real Story: A Guide to Nonfiction Reading Interests by Sarah Statz Cords (Libraries Unlimited, 2006); A Readers' Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction by Joyce Saricks (ALA Editions, 2001), or other titles in the Genreflecting series or the Readers' Advisory series.

See also

Reader's advisory

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