Searching for Your Next Best Read
There are several tools to help you find your next book to read. How you found out about books 15 years ago was pretty limited compared to today. Let’s take an imaginary ride in the time machine for what was available back then.
- Wandering aimlessly through the bookstore or library
- The bestseller list in the newspaper
- Word of mouth
All of these are valid and still useful today – but there are so many other options to help you pick through the stacks of books, e-books and audio books (which are rarely found in cassette form these days!)
Let the Algorithms Lead The Way (Amazon/Audible/Online Book Stores)
Based on books you’ve purchased the underlying algorithms lead you to other books you may enjoy. I like to use this to branch out to a new author or if I love a narrator of one of my recent audio-book finds. By default, Amazon & Audible will give you a list of recommendations based on recent browsing and purchases. You can then read blurbs, reviews and see if you are interested in those books. (Or go rogue and just trust the algorithms.) I like to click-through until I’m so far removed from the type of book I originally started and then start all over again in another direction. Everyone has hobbies, right?
Follow Your Way to Your Next Read (Instagram/Twitter/Facebook/YouTube)
Follow your favorite authors, publishers and bookish friends on your favorite social media platforms. They will share great books that they have found and love. Hashtags to check out #bookstagram #booklover #bibliophile. There are more hashtags out there, these are the ones I see the most frequently.
Heard about it first through Podcasts: My favorite podcasts about books are What Should I Read Next?, and Overdue
What Should I Read Next? is a book recommendation show where the host Anne Bogel asks the reader of the week what 3 books they love, what they are currently reading and what they hate and she gives them suggestions based on individualized reading tastes.
Overdue is review show with a twist, all the books they review are the ones that are stuck at the bottom of the never-ending to-be-read pile. They cover classics, contemporary, sci-fi, fantasy, middle-grade books that are suggested by listeners. Either Andrew or Craig reads the book, the person puts together an informational section about the author or time period and then the person that read the book tries to explain the book to the other person.
Book Clubs: Join a book club! Book clubs can expose you to books you would never heard about before. If you can’t find a book club in your area reach out to your friends and co-workers to see if they can meet on a certain day of the month and then find away to pick what you will read and discuss. The internet is full of tips for starting a book club.
If you are a more of an introvert that doesn’t like the commitment of getting together with strangers in strange places or being in a big group, there are book discussion forums alive and well on the internet. Instead of a traditional book club, they often include challenges, buddy reads and forum discussions. Forums are fun and a throw back to how social media used to be.
If you want to going in and be passive about sharing your ideas but want a new way to find books, you could follow a celebrity book club, Mindy Kaling, Reese Witherspoon, Felicia Day & Emma Watson all have book clubs going across different social media platforms. This brings us to my favorite go-to place for all things books: Goodreads.com
Goodreads: This is the social media hub for readers, books, authors. As with any social media platform, you create an account, create a profile blurb about yourself and find your friends. Instead of pictures of vacations you get a glimpse into their reading world.
- See what your circle of friends are reading by comparing virtual bookshelves.
- Join a group based on geographical location. Participate on the forums within the group. Everyone is nice if you are nice.
- Read reviews and see ratings for books they have read
- Suggest books and request suggestions for books
- You can comment and interact with your friends about reviews and ratings
- You can find an online group of friends to be in your reading tribe.
- You can categorize or catalog your reading lists by personalized tags (this will come in handy if you are participating in the 2018 reading challenge)
- Add books to your to-be-read pile without buying them or before you have a chance to read them (frugal bookworm tip #1: only buy the books you plan to read that month)
It is what you make it and for some people they use this tool as just a way to keep track of what they have read, others use it like other social media platforms to connect with others.
This list is not inclusive, it just a starting point for other options to find books you want to read.
Happy hunting on your quest for the next best book for you!