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

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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.

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