Congratulations! You have ticked off another book from your reading list. There's always a lull after finishing a good book, especially if the book you finished delivered a powerful message.
However, there comes a time when you find yourself staring at your bookshelf or scrolling through Kindle, having only one question in mind.
"Which book should I read next??"
This is especially true in our times when access to millions of books is one click away from you and making a choice is the more difficult than ever. To help you, here is a guide on how you choose your next favorite book
Word of mouth from friends and family
Take recommendations from family and friends. Especially if you know, they are into books as much as you are. One of my closest friends recently recommended The Silent Patient to me because she knew that was simply my kind of book.
Your friends and family know your personality and will understand your likes and dislikes. They will have a general idea of what you will want to read.
Also, the advantage of asking friends and family is that you can come across amazing books which you have never heard before and they can even lend you the book for free. Win-Win!
And if more than one person you trust recommends a book, go for it. It ought to be good.
Find your taste
What is your genre? Fiction? Horror? Sci-Fi?
Do you love a book that gets on your nerve or like a book offers a little slapstick comedy?
Who is your favorite author? What do you like about his/ her books?
Ask yourself these questions.
It will help you narrow down your interests and figure out exactly which book you want to read next.
In this world of information, finding the next book to read is only a couple of clicks away. You can find hundreds of books for your specific taste online. Here are some resources that will help you choose your next favorite book.
GoodReads Goodreads is by far the best place to find good books. It has a vast community of people who read, post reviews and discuss with each other about books. You can surely find your next book here.
WhichBook WhichBook is a unique online resource that gives you suggestions for books based on your emotions. Feeling sad? Want to read a novel about "success against all the odds"? Whichbook can give you suggestions on precisely that. Their system is surprisingly accurate when you are looking for something specific.
Penguin Classic Penguin Classic is another apt place to find books. The collection of Penguin Classic is very impressive. You will find books from around the world, from classics to new releases.
It's a great place to find a book you like.
Best Sellers! Really?
This may sound odd, but bestsellers may not be the best book you want to read. There are several ways a book can become a bestseller. By the name of the author or with the help of a massive marketing campaign. On the other hand, Rancour probably didn't make the popular bestseller lists but it sure was loved by its readers.
That doesn't mean all bestsellers are bad. Just go through the reviews and discussions and then decide if you want to pick the book. Otherwise, give lesser-known writers a shot. They may surprise you.
Don't judge a book by it's cover
Covers can not be trusted. The book covers are made by marketers to attract readers' eyes. It doesn't mean the content inside can live up to your expectations.
The same goes for blurbs and the jacket copy. Blurbs are often useless. Sometimes, they are just good things people say about the author. Nothing else.
Jacket copies are also not the best way to judge a book. They can surely help you to decide which book not to read, but they should not be used to determine if you want to read the book. It doesn't tell you much about the quality of the book.
Read the first paragraph
The best way you can judge a book is by its writings. When you get your hands on a book, open it, and read the first paragraph.
Authors take the most time to create the first paragraph of a book. If you don't like the first paragraph, you probably will not like the rest of the book as well.
Read from the middle of the book.
You liked the first paragraph! Great! But, don't grab it just yet. Author's craft the first paragraph so carefully that it may not be an accurate reflection of the rest of the book.
What you can do is flip open the book in the middle and skim through a couple of paragraphs. If you like what you read, go for it.
Switch It Up
Book recommendations are great. But the one problem with it is that over time you will get the same kind of recommendations from people. It gets boring to read the same type of books with almost similar themes over and over again.
If you find yourself in this loop, you've gotta switch it up! Go out of your comfort zone and read a book from a genre that you haven't ever read. See how you feel.
Why are book clubs still relevant? Because here you can still meet like-minded people at these clubs.
In a book club, people get to know each other and people with similar interests share books with each other. So you will have a good chance of finding the book you want to read next.
And as a bonus, you will make some fantastic friends at your book club.
Go to the Library
Remember the famous line from Harry Potter?
“When in doubt, go to the library.”~ J.K Rowling
Why? Because that is where all the books are. There is an old-world charm in walking around the library and trying to find that obscure book you heard of somewhere one day.
And if you can't find the one you want, the good librarian will likely introduce you to an even better one.
Don't wait for the perfect book to fall in your lap. Go grab anything that slightly sparks your interest off the shelves at your nearest bookstore.
Read the first chapter. You will be surprised by the outcomes.
That's it! That is how you choose the next favorite book you want to add to your reading list.