AAR Readers Poll Kicks Off Today

The excitement of another holiday season has come and gone and, for most of us, the world outside is not too inviting weather-wise.

But we have a solution to cure those winter blues.

We are happy and excited, to announce that a long-standing AAR tradition continues. Today is the start of AAR’s Annual Readers Poll for books published in 2008. Voting will be open until Tuesday, February 17, 2009 at midnight. The first poll ran in 1997 and has since become a yearly highlight for readers and staff here at AAR, as well as for many authors and publishers.

Categories have been added and deleted over the years, but one thing remains the same: You, the readers, let AAR – not to mention authors and publishers – know what you liked and what you didn’t in the previous reading year.

This year we’ve streamlined the poll a bit, including the deletion of a few categories. We hope that you’ll be happy with the results and not offended if we left off one of your favorites. In fact, look for some of the deleted categories to appear in future mini-polls here at AAR.

We are always interested in the ways that AAR readers prepare their ballots. We know that some of you keep detailed records about your reading in various spreadsheets or databases. Still others report just looking through their shelves when they get ready to vote. Another alternative is to make use of the Power Search feature here at AAR to help jog your memory by selecting all books with a 2008 publication date in order to generate a list of eligible titles. Whichever method you use, we thank you for taking the time to prepare a ballot and participate in the poll.

We’ll be posting one set of interim results, about halfway through the voting period.  When you see them, please keep in mind there are many readers who wait until the last minute to fill out their ballot and we understand why.  The need to read as many books as possible with the 2008 publication date before the end of polling has become one of the fun (or painful if you are one of the readers!) annual races to watch unfold. The interim results can be a memory-jogging instrument, as well, but remember if a title you wish to vote for isn’t on the interim list, your vote might be the one to push it to the winning side. (Minnesota Senate race, anyone?)

Because there will be three of us tabulating the results, we hope to finish within a week or so after the February 17th end. Look for the results to be posted at AAR in late February or early March.
Good luck, and have fun!

Your AAR Pollsters,
LinnieGayl, Cindy, and Lee

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6 Responses to “AAR Readers Poll Kicks Off Today”

  1. Tee says:

    Hi AAR Pollsters. I’ve been participating for a few years now in this yearly poll. Although I don’t keep detailed records at all, I do keep a list of the year’s best books I’ve read and a couple of disappointments, just for the poll. It doesn’t amount to much, but it’s my honest contribution.

    Now, my question–is the poll benefited at all by posting those interim results? I found they became almost depressing when I used to see a book on it, then deleted, then put back on. After a while it became crazy with all the different colors criss-crossing each other. I just gave up trying to even figure it out. I also thought that maybe it biased some people’s voting because they thought their book doesn’t even show, so why bother putting it down on the ballot. The printed interim results almost sounded as though, “here are the finalists; vote for one of them in each category.”

    Just wondering. I have nothing to back this thought up at all. Has anyone else commented one way or another about the interim results, especially near the end when it was almost daily, it seemed?

  2. LinnieGayl says:

    Tee, interesting comment about the interim results, and I’d love to see what more people think about them. When we did the Top 100 poll in 2007, we only did one set of interim results, and listed the current top 200 books. We decided to cut back on the interim results this time and just list one set (no different colors criss-crossing). I always figured they might be useful for people who were completely stumped, but would love to get more people’s take on them.

  3. Tee says:

    By the way, I sent my above post before I actually looked at the ballot. Wow–what an improvement. You all really cut it almost to the bone. Congratulations. I think there will be many more responses this way. I like it a lot and still we’ll get some top books that people on this site enjoyed last year.

  4. Mari says:

    I always enjoy the interim results. It really helps me to see what categories certain books might fit into. An example, sometimes I’m stymied when I try to categorize a luscious love story or what books are erotic and which are mainstream. Also, I often don’t know which authors are debut authors and seeing the list can help me with that. Just seeing the types of books in each category can help. I keep a pretty good database of the books I read each year but the interim list can refresh my memory on books I may have read awhile ago.

  5. CindyS says:

    Hey Tee and Mari – yep, only ONE set of interim results will be put up and the three of us like to be tricky and turn the list all inside out ;)

    I agree Mari – I always find another category I can put a vote in when the interim results are posted. I’m usually all ‘hey, I didn’t even think about that!”

    That said, I’m posting my ballot early this year because I’ve been in a horrid slump and only have like 10 titles to choose from.

    CindyS (pollster)

  6. Danielle D says:

    I’m so glad this poll is back. I have to admit that I always wait until I see the interim results before I vote.