The Multnomah County Library Twitter Gave Reading Recommendations Based on People's Tattoos

Tattoo of a tiger? Try "Life of Pi."

When I was a kid, the only thing that could get me to read during the summer was the Multnomah County Library's summer reading program.

Every time you finished a book, you filled in a black drawing of a book on their card stock Summer Reading 2001 map. Once you filled in 10 or so, you brought it to the library and got a prize. Although I never finished the number of books necessary to receive a Summer Reading T-shirt, I still credit the Multnomah County Library for instilling in me a lifelong love of reading.

Anyway, the library just did grown-ups a solid.

Yesterday morning, the Multnomah Country Library Twitter account posted this tweet, offering reading suggestions based on people's tattoos.

More than 150 people sent in their tattoos. A team of librarians responded, offering personalized book recommendations based on the tattoos.

"Some librarians on staff threw this idea out and said, 'hey why don't we do this?'", says library spokesperson Shawn Cunningham. "It's a bit of a deviation from how we would usually [recommend books], but it's a great conversation starter. Without knowing that story, we can take it in whatever direction the librarian wants to, based on whatever he or she infers from that image."

Sometimes, they were even too good at their job—offering suggestions the person already read and enjoyed.

Cunninham said the library will do more personalized recs like this in the future. Once, they had a book match contest with the Seattle Public Library, when the Timbers were playing the Sounders. Portland book nerds won, of course.

But for now—the library is catching up on yesterday's tweets.

"We have somewhat of a backlog," he says. "It's a great place to be in."

View every #Book4Tat Tweet here.

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