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