I'm writing this while celebrating the fact that The Novel Encounter has just launched its 6th curated collection of mystery wrapped books. Yay us! As the modern poet (in a way) Jay-Z said, I'm feeling psycho, liable to go Michael - take your pick, Jackson, Tyson, Jordan, Game 6!
Anyone who has met me at TNE live events knows that I'm a little eccentric so if you've never met me before, and were expecting a polished, distinguished elderly Hemingway-looking gent smoking a pipe in charge of recommending you books, I'm sorry to disappoint.
But I promise you, I take this role as your curator very seriously. This first post of The Novel Encounter's blog will delve into the process that myself, and a helpful team of fellow book lovers, get into while choosing your new favourite books.
So step 1. We individually compile a list. As the head curator I obviously have a lot more homework to do, so for each new collection I tend to come up with 20-40 books I'm keen to bring in. I do my very best to read about all of the books that I bring in, to make sure I can give my personal recommendation. So by the time this full list is compiled, we have about 80 books in total.
Now's the heartbreaking part. We go on GoodReads.com and every book that is ranked below 3.9 out of 5, we cross it out. This is to ensure our bias does not affect the quality of our collections - GoodReads.com is home to millions of readers across the world. This ranking system keeps us in check. I fought very hard to get one of my favourite Japanese novels in this new collection but it's a 3.6 out of 5. So I was forced to part ways. (Cue sad Titanic song). Believe me, I refreshed that page many times before finally giving up. Well, here's hoping the rating miraculously hops up to our 3.9 out of 5 and I'm able to get it in the next collection. Fingers crossed.
So anyway, after this process, we have about probably 20+ books. So we sit down together over coffee and pitch our favourites. This takes about probably 2 hours when we are at our maximum efficiency. But we usually stretch it to 3 hours or more because we're a persistent, passionate bunch.
And then by the end of it, we're left with about 10 titles. So I contact my book supplier and we see what he has in stock. We've been working with these guys since I first launched The Novel Encounter. Couldn't be happier with them. They usually have at least half of what we're looking for.
So there you have it! The Novel Encounter's curation process. It's a little tiring sometimes to keep going through this, but it helps when you're passionate about reading and writing - and generally bearing a keen interest in introducing people things. (Ask me for my Spotify playlists, I have good music recommendations too. I'd like to think so, anyway.)
Anyways, I don't know how often this blog will be updated but hit me up if there's anything you want me to discuss about or enlighten you of!
My name is Adam and I am the founder and head curator of The Novel Encounter. I am a published poet, providing the service of customised poems on this platform (give me three words, I'll write you a poem), as well as live events such as weddings and corporate events. I am currently working on a full-length novel as well as something else exciting - which I shall reveal eventually when things get confirmed.
Ask away, unlike my mystery wrapped books, I'm quite an open book. Have a good one and thanks for visiting The Novel Encounter!