Adam is the Associate Director of the Monroe County Library System. Before joining MCLS in 2019, he had spent the past 15 years in academic libraries, primarily interested in consortial programs around resource sharing. He’s worked at the University of Rochester, RIT, St. John Fisher, and Strong Museum of Play. Adam grew up around Rochester and has been living in the city since 2005, currently living in the South Wedge with his partner. When he’s not working or advocating for libraries, you can find him cooking, running with his dog, or playing Ultimate (frisbee).
Write a one-sentence description of yourself as a Reader.
Sporadically voracious – that is not a sentence, but it’s accurate.
What are you reading right now?
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
The desert island question – What 5 books would you have to have with you if you were stranded on a desert island?
- The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
- Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien (does that count as one?!)
- Indian Killer by Sherman Alexie
- The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters
- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson
Are you a finisher? In other words, are you compelled to finish a book even if you hate it? What are some books that you’ve had to force yourself to finish, or which you’ve bailed on?
It took me many years to be able to put down a book but I’ve decided my time is too precious to waste on a book I don’t like. “The Savage Detectives” is one I bailed on that comes to mind.
Do you ever read the end of a book first? Why or why not?
Never! I hate spoilers so much, I avoid any summaries. For example, I had no idea what Station Eleven was about when I picked it up just before the COVID crisis hit us. Ugh – this will be a tough one to get through right now.
What is at the top of your To Be Read pile?
Who is your go-to author when someone asks you for a recommendation?
Depending on the someone, I’d go for Patrick Rothfuss or Robert Jackson Bennett. Though, it really depends on what they like. If they aren’t into fantasy, I’d probably suggest Chabon or Winters.
Would you rather be your favorite author or your favorite character?
Well, my favorite author is dead and most of my favorite characters are pretty flawed. I’m content being me and enjoying them from a nice armchair.
Has any book defined your life, as in you would be a different person if you hadn’t read it?
The Hobbit. I was – decidedly – not a reader until high school. If it wasn’t for my uncle introducing me to Tolkien, I don’t think I’d be a librarian today.
Is there a genre or type that you are over and wish would just go away?
No – Ranganathan’s Third Law: “Every book its reader.”
Describe your favorite place to read.
My skin warmed – either by a campfire or equatorial sun, preferably with a dog nearby.
Book or movie? Is there a movie that you think was better than the book?
I enjoy both so much, I don’t know I can make a blanket statement. Casino Royale, perhaps?
What is your preferred format? Hardcover, paperback, digital, audio, doesn’t matter?
I prefer physical books, though I’m not too picky on their binding. One day, though, I’ll be thankful for a nice e-reader where I can make the text bigger.
Share a favorite quote from a book you’ve read. Why is it meaningful to you?
“Not all those who wander are lost.” – JRR Tolkien
It reminds me to enjoy life’s detours, but also to reserve judgment when someone else takes a different path.
What book are you recommending that everyone read right now?
I loved Foundryside and I’m really looking forward to the next in the series. Though, if I’m honest, “Name of the Wind.” Not only is it a great fantasy story, but I hope the increased sales urge the author to finish the series!
What book challenged you the most when you read it?
Native Son by Richard Wright. Growing up in a predominantly white middle-class neighborhood, in a predominantly white middle-class school district, surrounded by predominantly white middle-class – well, I had – and do have – a lot of learning to do. I’m grateful for my teachers who selected that as a part of the curriculum.