Hello! In the past few months I’ve been quite picky about the books I chose to read, mainly because I did not have much free time and I wanted to invest my reading efforts in books that are worth it … like my next favourite book 🙂 Thinking that you might also face this dilemma of what book to read next, I put together a list of 10 ideas that help you find your next best read. Enjoy!
1. Ask your bookish friends!
My number one recommendation is to ask your bookish friends what novels they’ve enjoyed recently. When I have no idea what to read next and I want to read something with high chances of enjoying, I ask my book-lover-friends. That’s how I got to read War and Peace, East of Eden, My Brilliant Friend, The Cemetery of Forgotten Books series, and many more!
2. Check out book blogs!
If you’re reading this post, there are high chances you already do this 🙂 However, I encourage you to find bloggers that have similar reading tastes as yours, so that their recommendations are appropriate for you.
3. Follow the winners!
Checking out books that received recognized literary awards is also another way to find a good book. While the prize is not a 100% sign that you will enjoy the book, I consider that awards are still a validation of the high quality of the book.
I encourage you to check both recent and previous winners, for example, you can start by checking the Man Booker Prize winners’ list or the Pulitzer Prize winners’ list.
4. Join a book club!
Book clubs can be a great source of getting interesting ideas of what books to read, being online book clubs or offline book clubs. Some clubs have a specific theme (for example, Shared Shelf focuses on gender equality), others let its members vote on what book to be read next.
Apart from offering ideas of what to read next, book clubs also offer a platform or context to discuss with others about the readings … and these discussions and sharing of ideas might help you fall in love with the book you’re reading.
5. Take on a reading challenge!
Reading challenges not only motivate you to read more but also help you pick faster what to read next by limiting your choices. The more you read, the more chances to find your next favourite book you have! For example, check out the BBC 100 reads challenge, Banned books challenge and the Diverse Reads Book Challenge.
6. Check others’ reading lists!
Another starting point to find your next favourite book is to get inspired by famous people that you admire or you follow – maybe your favourite author recommended some books, or your favourite actor. How about checking the reading lists of Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Anthony Hopkins or Barack Obama ?
7. Let technology help you!
If you prefer a quick & easy way to receive a recommendation, try using a website that offers recommendations based on your current preferences or choices. Here are some interesting examples:
- What Should I Read Next starts from your favourite title/author
- Book Suggestions Ninja asks for a book/author you like or you can select genres
- Gnooks it is like a search engine for literature you don’t know about, and asks for three books you currently like
- WhichBook lets you choose the “coordinates” of the book (happy or sad? easy or demanding?); you can also choose features of the main characters (e.g.: age, sexuality), of the plot (e.g.: open ending, conflict), and of the geographical location
- The Book Seer is a fun and simple way to get Amazon recommendations
8. Get inspired by the visuals!
I certainly have a thing for book covers (hands up if you do, too!), so my next recommendations is to let your visual instinct help you find the next favourite book. One way is to simply visit a local bookstore and wander around the books, picking up the ones that appeals to you the most. An online alternative is Olmenta, a visual website where you can get inspired by book covers.
9. Go on a blind date with a book!
How about choosing to not choose? Having a blind date with a book might be a solution if you’re stuck in indecision. Blind Date with a Book chooses from a wide range of the genres, wraps and tags them with clues, and delivers it to your door (worldwide delivery!). For my Romanian readers, you might be interested in the similar initiative started by the local bookstore Diverta.
10. Ask the local librarian for a recommendation!
When is the last time you’ve actually discussed about a book with a librarian? Given the current trends of online buying, the vast knowledge of librarians might be overlooked. So next time when you don’t know what book to read, go and ask your local librarian. (S)he might have a very interesting proposal 🙂
I hope you are now fully equipped to pick up your next favourite book! If you have any other ideas you think might be useful to find a good book, please share them in the comments section below. Thanks!
‘Till next time, happy reading!
Images: LifeInASchoolArtRoom.blogspot|HappyMonky.com|Slate.com|Blind Date with a Book| Olmenta| JabberWorks|CarlysShonberg.com | ReadSleepRepeat.org