A patron once told me that she never goes upstairs to look for books. She picks all her reading material from the return carts near the circulation desk. I told her that would never have occurred to me. She said, “Well, it lets me know what other people are interested in. It’s like anonymous book recommendations.”

Since that conversation Ive taken to looking at  the cart where circulation staff put the most recently returned books. It provides a sample of the diverse tastes of Somerville readers and the variety of reasons that bring them to the library.  This morning I looked over the recent returns cart and saw, among other books:

Bikram Yoga by Bikram Choudhury

Making Authentic Shaker Furniture: With Measured Drawings  of Museum Classics by John G. Shea

Blender Baby Food: Over 125 Recipes for Healthy Homemade Meals by Nicole Young

The Oxford History of the Classical World. John Boardman, ed.

Dave Miller’s Homebrewing Guide: Everything You Need to Know to Make Great Tasting-Beer by Dave Miller.

More Room in a Broken Heart: The True Adventures of Carly Simon by Stephen Davis.

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