WhichBookFirst.com, formerly DebbiesIdea.com, grew out of a friendship between Debbie Sankey, a lifelong lover of books and music, and Ellen Pall, a writer.
Long before the Internet was commonly available, Debbie had the idea that it would be useful to have a reference work suggesting which book of an unfamiliar author would be best to read first. Start reading an author with a poor or atypical example of his work, she observed, and you would likely never read that writer again--perhaps losing in the process a world of pleasure and knowledge. On the other hand, since there would seldom be one right book to read first, the resource would have to be a compendium of opinions.
Debbie died in 2004, at the age of ninety. This website has been created in loving memory of her and her very good idea.
When Debbie first thought of it, the practical difficulties of compiling the kind of reference work she envisioned seemed insurmountable. With the Internet, though, the difficulties vanish.
Users who want to add to the site are asked to register via email so that abuse of the site (use of personal invective, commercial exploitation etc.) can be controlled.
An article explaining the roots of Debbie and Ellen's friendship appeared in the New York Times "City" section on May 8, 2005 and can be found HERE.
With luck, this site will reflect something of Debbie herself. She was, she said, an "appreciator". She had strong opinions and she loved to hear the strong opinions of others. A wonderful list she prepared of classical music she thought anyone would want to hear at least once appears HERE for those who care to consult it.
Thank you for visiting. Please add your comments to the site and become part of Debbie's good idea.