. . . Nancy's walls.

A bit of whimsey from . . .

Nancy Pearl: Librarian, Author, Book Activist

“So many lives I wish I could have led, . . . that’s why I read, so I can lead those lives.

The Authors Road has now completed nearly 50 interviews with writers and experts, and what they all share is a love of reading and the magic of the written word. But this, our 44th interview, is with someone who adds one more passion to the list of reading and writing, and that is her gift for putting people together with the right books at the right time. Perhaps that’s why she is best known as The Librarian, having been chosen as "Fiction Reviewer of the Year" in 1998 and “Librarian of the Year” in 2011 by the Library Journal.

Pearl’s life has orbited around the book in too many ways to count here. She’s worked in bookstores, served as the executive director for the Washington Center for the Book, pioneered the idea of an international program for citywide reading (One City, One Book), taught library sciences, written best-sellers on recommended reading, and appears regularly on public radio discussing books.

Pearl also gave a TEDxTalk called 'Reading with Purpose' during which she introduces readers to her "rule of 50" where she gives permission not to finish a book they aren't enjoying (except in a few cases), and her "pie chart book review." As she says, "Reading should be a pleasure, it should be joy." And she has spent her life connecting readers and writers to find that end.

And if all these achievements aren't enough, in 2003 a company made an action figure based on her, The Librarian. And yes, when you push the button on the back of the five- inch tall figure, her arm raises and a finger crosses her lips reminding us to keep quiet. At the end of this interview, Nancy demonstrates this skill with all the aplomb a true librarian must have.

Interview Movie
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Audio File
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control click if you are on a Mac. )


Seattle, WA

Run Time:



Nonfiction about books and reading


For a good time with books, go here: www.nancypearl.com and see her TEDxTalk Reading with Purpose


Detroit, MI

Youthful Influence:

Ms. Whitehead, the Children's Librarian at her local library, who tricked her into broadening her reading list. By the age of 10 she knew she wanted to be a librarian.

Favorite Authors:

As a youth she loved horse books, then Tolkein, Edna St. Vincent Millay and more. Today, there are too many to say. She is a 'vicious reader' and will start 12 to 15 books for every one she finishes.

Creative Habit:

As for writing, Pearl says that she is a perfectionist and procrastinator. She has written poetry, articles, reviews, the Book Lust series and is now working on a novel.

Nancy Pearl-Authors Road
We were so pleased to interview our first award-winning librarian, writer and action figure!
Nancy Pearl
"Books move you outside yourself." ————"Every book you read changes you in some way."

Now Read This: A Guide to Mainstream Fiction, 1978-1998
– 1999
Now Read This II: A Guide to Mainstream Fiction, 1990-2001
– 2002
Book Lust – 2003
More Book Lust
– 2005
Book Lust Journal – 2005
Book Crush: For Kids & Teens
Book Crush Journal – 2007
Now Read This III: A Guide to Mainstream Fiction, 2002-2009 – 2010
Book Lust to Go – 2010

Awards & Honors:
Library Journal, Fiction Reviewer of the Year –1998
Allie Beth Martin Award, ALA – 2000
Washington Humanities Award – 2003
Ontario Library Association Media & Communications Award–2004
Louis Shores Greenwood Publishing Award for Reviews, ALA –2004
Women’s National Book Association Award –2004/5
Margaret E. Monroe Library Adult Services Award –2010
Library Journal Librarian of the Year - 2011
PNBA Lifetime Achievement – 2011
King County Library System Foundation Literary Lion – 2011

Move over Oprah! Nancy Pearl has her own book recommendation logo.

Nancy Pearl became an action figure shortly after she published "Booklust" in 2003. Made by Accoutrements/ Archie McPhee this wonderful toy has since been discontinued.

Everyone wants Nancy Pearl to read their book. I think this is a week's worth of bookmail to feed her booklust.

George and Nancy have a chat surrounded by books being read-- open, on an iPad, closed, stacked, on tables--and toys for Nancy's grandchildren.

Awards and honors adorn Pearl's home.

Nancy's Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Lifetime Achievement Award, 2011

We took the ferry from Bainbridge Island to Seattle where we were greeted by Seattle's newest icon, a giant Ferris Wheel at the waterfront.

Nancy was also named a Literary Lion by the
King County Library System Foundation in 2011

Contact: info@authorsroad.com

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