If your usual tricks—wandering aimlessly around a bookstore or library waiting for a book to leap out into your arms from the bookshelves, or putting out a call for book recommendations on your preferred social media platform—simply aren’t working these days, don’t despair! Here are some ways, both online and offline, that you can answer your “how to find books to read” questions!
Follow Your Indie’s Book Buyer
If you poke around a bit in your indie’s social media, you might find features like book recommendations in their Instagram Story Highlights, or a series by the store’s book buyer, or even a regular “Staff Picks” update on their feed. Don’t have an indie near you? Borrow mine. They even have a separate section for YA if that’s your jam. Since these feeds are curated by humans who love books and want you to read awesome books, you’re likely to find some inspiration there.
Check out TBR (Tailored Book Recommendations)
Did you know that Book Riot has a service designed specifically for people wondering how to find books to read? There are a couple of different ways you can benefit from the Bibliologists at the ol’ S.S. Riot. The first, easy way is to subscribe to emails which will contain tailored-to-you recommendations, given with all the love and experience your book wizard has to offer. The other, also very easy, but even more tailored-for-you way, not only lands you personal recommendations, but you’ll receive the books in the mail, so you can just get your read on without delay. Both involve a little input from you, so our experts can get an idea of what you’ll like, and once you pick a plan, you’re good to go.
Follow a Bookish Hashtag on Instagram and Let Your Eyes Be Your Guide
There is something to be said about judging a book by its cover! Every now and again, I browse fun bookish hashtags like #Bookstagram or #bookaholic and just look through all the pictures. Eventually, I’ll land on something super intriguing and look at a description. Can that gorgeous thing be my next read?
Follow a Celebrity Book Club (or a Bookish Celebrity)
“Now wait, but I don’t worship celebrities or care about what’s going on in their lives,” you say. I hear you, but y’ave got to admit some of them have dang good taste in books. I personally favor Reese’s Book Club, but there are plenty of other places you can go for inspiration. And lookie here, we have a post for that! Browse a few and see if any are highlighting books you already love, and you’ll probably see some inspiration for your next read.
Check Out Bookish Pals on YouTube or on Podcasts
When looking at pictures or reading descriptions just doesn’t do it for you, it might be a good idea to listen to people who absolutely love reading talk about books they adore. Book Riot has a bunch of podcasts you can check out, as well as a YouTube channel, for starters, but there are loads of other options as well. It hasn’t been updated in a little bit, but I used to love tuning in to Felicia Day’s book club Vaginal Fantasy because I could listen and/or watch these smart ladies talk unapologetically about their month’s read (you can still watch any of the episodes). They even had this whole network of book clubs tuning in, commenting, and sharing via Goodreads and YouTube. Amazing. BookTube is vast and everyone is certain to find their ideal recommender and answers to how to find books to read.
And While I’m at it…Goodreads
There are several ways Goodreads can be useful for finding your next book. Piggybacking on what I said in the previous entry, there are groups you can join or follow based on your interests. Once you find one that suits you, you can join the conversation and make some new book pals! Another way GoodReads is great for finding your next squeeze is checking out lists. You can search for something specific, or simply browse recently updated lists. Some of them are suuuuuper specific. Others not. Finally, there’s a cool feature on each book listing where you can check out similar titles based on lists it’s been added to.
Join a Book Club
The nice thing about book clubs is they can be anything you’d like them to. The most important thing is to gather up some folks (or find a group of folks) who are going to stick to it and who want to read the same sort of things you want to read. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll always read the same things. Just that you’re like-minded about reading. When a book club challenges you to read out of your comfort zone or see things in a different way, that’s a 100% win. Need some help? We’ve got you, boo.
Check Out Staff and Librarian Picks
Whenever you go to a library or a book store, there is sure to be a section somewhere curated by staff. And the best part about being able to walk into a library or book store to check out staff picks is that you can probably talk to the staff member in person to get even better insight. I’m drawing from personal experience here again, but I’ve found that the staff at my indie tend to prefer or specialize in one genre or another, so they’re pretty much experts who will always have a recommendation handy when I need one. I just walk in with an “I just read X and I want to read more books like that!” and I walk out with a book in hand. Magic.
Find Bookish Events and Make Book Pals
Check out events in your area and see if you find cool bookish events, such as book fairs, author signings/visits, or even book/comic conventions. If your town isn’t really “on the map” so to speak, there might be a city nearby that is, and it’ll be worth the drive to see an author you love or to meet some new people you can share your love of books with.
Take a Class
Oddball choice? Maybe. But just hear me out a sec. Isn’t there something you’ve always been meaning to learn? When I say class, I’m not specifically talking about enrolling in college courses, although that’s cool if you want to. Try knitting, a new instrument, yoga…anything that’ll get new people in your life, and roll from there.
How do you find your next great read?