How to Find Great Books to Read

5 tips for how to find great books to read  The Deliberate ReaderFinding great books to read doesn’t have to be difficult: here are 5 tips to help you so you can make the most of your reading time.

  1. Use Goodreads
    If you use Goodreads and rate 50 books, it will suggest additional books that you may enjoy thanks to the cumulative ratings of books by their users. I often check and see what it’s recommending for me, and have noticed that it regularly mentions books that I’ve already read and enjoyed, just haven’t entered into my “books read” list yet, so their algorithm for recommendations works fairly well for me.
  2. Find a reviewer you trust.
    Your reading tastes don’t have to mesh completely, as long as the review gives enough information in his or her reviews for you to determine if the book is a good fit for you. Catherine at A Spirited Mind writes fantastic reviews that always give me a clear idea if the book is one I’d like to read. Anne at a Modern Mrs. Darcy has regular book-related posts that also have enough detail to give me additional suggestions.
  3. Search “if you liked” + the title of a book you loved
    Libraries often compile readalike lists for popular books, so by searching for the term “if you liked” or the word “readalike” plus the name of a book you liked, you can often find suggestions for additional books that you may enjoy. Some readalike lists are better than others, but they’re great starting points.
  4. Use online bookstores to your advantage
    Again, start with the title of a book you liked, and plug it into your favorite online bookstore. Most of them offer suggestions for other titles that were purchased by people who also bought the book you entered. You may even find book lists put together by site users that include the book, which may give more ideas.
  5. Read Booklist.
    Or Publishers Weekly, or other review magazines. They have excellent reviews, and often include roundups of recommended titles on various topics. Subscriptions aren’t cheap, but most libraries will carry this, so it’s a great one to go and read at your local library. If you’re looking for children’s or young adult titles, Book Links (a supplement to Booklist) and The Horn Book are both excellent, and both are often carried by public libraries. Even if your library doesn’t carry them (or make them available to the public), several of them have websites with selected reviews, or blogs with additional suggestions.

Comments

  1. Great tips, Sheila. I think what’s been most helpful to me lately is finding reviewers that I trust and paying attention to what they say. Like you mentioned, Modern Mrs Darcy is certainly one of them. So are you. 🙂

  2. Great tips! I also love it when authors will list their favorite books. This has helped me frequently in the past.

    • Yes, that’s a great tip (wish I’d remembered it actually!) Bibliographies in books I like are good sources too for ideas, although they can be pretty inconsistent when it comes to actually liking the books listed. 🙂

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