Tips for Researching Your Novel Idea at the Library

research, writing, novels, book, how to, tips, library


I write historical romances, and as a result, I do a lot of research. Thankfully, I love doing research, especially when I get to wander through the various sections of the library. Nothing can replace browsing, not Google searches or even a library catalog search. The internet is great for answering questions quickly, but books are where the real in-depth details are found. Finding the right book is the challenge. Sometimes, even the best keywords don’t bring up what I need. However, honing in on a section at the library and simply seeing what’s on the shelves often uncovers the exact thing.

research, writing, novels, book, how to, tips, libraryWhen I was writing my book The Captain’s Frozen Dream, I had to research both early fossil hunters and early Arctic exploration. I found more great research at the library than I did online. Physically being in the library and searching the geology shelves led me to a few gems I wouldn’t have otherwise discovered. Being in the library also encouraged me to peek at other sections I hadn’t considered in my original online search. I perused the biography section too in an effort to find relevant people. Browsing, is a great way to discover lesser known, but necessary to my research, historical figures.



The thrill of discovery in the library is beautifully depicted in the children’s book Bats at the Library
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by Brian Lies. It captures the excitement of finding just the right book during my precious and limited library time before other responsibilities pull me away. Books turned out on the shelves by the librarians have also led me to discover some great reads. No one has paid to have those books there. Instead, someone who has read them and enjoyed them is quietly recommending them.

So the next time you're stuck for a story idea, a plot twist, or a character, get thee to a library. You never know what you might find.

If you're searching for some fiction to read then check out my books because they are full of stories.

For more tips on research, check out these posts here and here.


7 comments:

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

I used to have a fantasy about writing a book. Never happened, but loving libraries has been part of my whole life. The last time I was in a college library, it was so sad. Very few books but lots of computers with specific databases.

Lisa Healy said...

I love historical novels and think it would be both exciting and draining to do all that research for one! Have a great weekend!

Lisa Healy said...

So happy you joined us at #FridayFrivolity this week!

Janice Wald said...

Hi Lisa,
Do you think libraries will be obsolete one day due to less printing on paper?
Thank you for bringing your post to Blogger's Pit Stop last week.
Janice, Pit Stop Crew

Tarahlynn said...

Great tips! Thanks for linking up with us at the "To Grandma's House We Go" Link Party, pinned!

Jessica Pelasky said...

Great tips! :)

Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

foreverjoyfulleslie said...

There's something refreshing about physically being in a library. Thanks for sharing at the #LMMLinkup.