Our Reading Lives

Why What To Read Next Lists Don’t Work For Me

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Carina Pereira

Staff Writer

Carina Pereira, born in ‘87, in Portugal. Moved to Belgium in 2011, and to Rotterdam, The Netherlands, in 2019. Avid reader, changing interests as the mods strikes. Whiles away the time by improvising stand-up routines she’ll never get to perform. Books are a life-long affair, audiobooks a life-changing discovery of adulthood. Selling books by day, writer by night. Contact

When we finish a book that we have absolutely loved, all we want is to remain in that book’s world for a very long time. We wish we could, somehow, Obliviate our knowledge of said book, so as to be able to read it again for the first time.

Sometimes we take a book-break, because we just can’t get over it and into a new read. Other times, we go back and reread it: to find finer details, and foreshadowing, that we might have missed the first time around, or because the book was so good, that we do need to linger there just a little bit longer. Eventually, though, it’s time to move on to a new book, and it is more than likely that we will try to find whatever this book has given to us in other books.

There are a few tools online that will guide us in that direction, helping us to choose our next read in accordance with the last one we liked so much. Book Riot has a biweekly podcast—Get Booked—with personalised book recommendations, and Book Riot’s twitter is also a great tool to get recs around here, so I do usually turn to other Rioters for tips as well. Although I always find myself with great recommendations, I tend to end up a bit frustrated in the this book is a bit like this book field. The problem is that what I am looking for are not necessarily similar stories, but a similar experience, the same sensation that that wonderful book I just read has given me. With this, I ended up realising that What To Read Next suggestions don’t usually work for me.

I read Call Me By Your Name and then, in search for a similar book, by recommendation, I began reading The Price Of Salt. While I adored CMBYN—so much so that I am rereading it again, just a few weeks after reading it for the first time—The Price Of Salt began very promisingly but, after a while, I got bored of it. I realised that the only connection between those two books is the homosexual relationship, but that aspect wasn’t exactly what I was looking for in a story: I craved a similar set of emotions that CMBYN provided which I, personally, couldn’t find in The Price Of Salt.

This frustration when in search for the next read-alike has happened to me several times. It isn’t always easy to find a book that will give you a similar feeling as the previous one, and I wish there was a tool for that.