Incredible people pick your books every month. People who come from a variety of different backgrounds, have different interests, tastes, and definitely senses of humor. Real people. In our current social media efforts, we are introducing you to all the players here at Page 1. We have called ourselves literary matchmakers because we want you to fall in love with the book we pick for you.
But it’s more than that. I’ve recently also started thinking about us as bibliotherapists. Bibliotherapy actually is a respected practice of addressing life challenges with literature and writing. And while none of us are trained or accredited in that field (at least I don’t think so, anyway), I still think it’s fair to say we put on the bibliotherapist hat almost every day.
So much of what we do here at Page 1 is personal. I am regularly humbled by what our subscribers share with us in their profiles. Deeply intimate information about themselves and what is going on in their lives, running the gamut from great joys like new motherhood, marriage, tenure, and new jobs to the great trials of life like the death of a loved one, trauma, divorce, or sometimes just seeing the news of the world on the internet. And the common thread here is that we are all searching; searching for connection, for understanding, for comfort, for a place to land.
A woman who is a busy mother of many and feeling pulled in an overwhelming number of directions recently wrote to us that she loves Page 1 because she knows we think about her. Just her. For at least five minutes each month, she gets to be focus of someone else’s considered attention.
Wow. That reinforced for me the importance of what we are doing. And how much the care with which we treat our subscribers matters. Because, really, that’s the difference, isn’t it? An algorithm can’t care. An algorithm doesn’t walk the stacks and think about what books will treat you well, help you heal, make you feel safe, or challenge you in ways you know you need challenging. An algorithm doesn’t think, “gee, I’ll send this to Susan because I know that one scene in the café will resonate with her in a positive way”. But we do. Every book we send you has been chosen with you in mind, with your unique tastes, dreams, loves, mistakes, and celebrations.
So, to all of you who apologize at the end of your profiles for “going on and on and writing a novella”, just know that we love it and love getting to know the uniqueness of you.