How to Find Your Next Favorite Book

How do you find what books to read next?  This is a question I get A LOT, with all of my reading and talk of booooooks.  The ways I find great books are certainly the usual: friend recommendations, bestseller lists, browsing the bookstore, etc.  But there are a few ways to best utilize these sources, as well as some other great tools to get great info!
  • My first recommendation would be to subscribe to Book Riot, Amazon's Omivoracious blog, and Go Book Yourself.  These are my go-to websites with all sorts of fantastic articles, lists, reviews, the latest on award winning books, etc.  Sometimes I think I might spend as much time reading about books as I do actually reading books...
  • If you like to listen to podcasts, Bookriot has one, as well as NPR books (also a great website for booky info).  
  • Your library should be a resource [edited to add: or your local bookstore, obv. - but I'm more of a library lover], whether you're an e-reader afficianado or not.  I mostly prefer my e-reader and if you haven't figured out Overdrive for borrowing ebooks and audiobooks - get on that.  I feel so lucky to live here in King County because of our amazing library system: the inter-library loan process is seamless, all online, and just fantastic.  In addition to great online content, each library has the latest 'paperback picks' which is a great jumping off point when looking for something new.  They also have fun marketing materials like these that are always changing:

  • Bestseller lists are also a great resource, especially at this time of year!  Amazon does roundups all year long with the top books of each month, as does Oprah, and of course The New York Times.  Speaking of end of year lists, here is the mother of all Best of 2013 lists - courtesy of Bookriot.  And NPR changed things up a bit this year with a 'Book Concierge' app, rather than a list, which has been really fun to click around.
  • Follow your favorite authors on social media.  Whether on Twitter, Facebook, or their personal blog, they talk about books, and not just their own!  I remember following Stephenie Meyer's blog after reading Twilight (before the movie even began shooting) and she recommended The Hunger Games on her site (what seems like a million years ago, now) and of course I devoured it.  
  • Follow bookish bloggy people, too.  I've said before that I love reading Kim's blog, Miss Zoot, and she also talks books: same goes for Elizabeth at Princess Nebraska, Janssen at Everyday Reading, and Linda at All and Sundry, among others.  It stands to reason if you like a person's blog personality, you'll like the books they read.  Just like real-life friends!
  • And, lastly, get your real-life friends on Goodreads, if possible.  Goodreads is mainly a social media website for keeping reading lists and sharing what you're reading with friends.  But it's also another website chock-full of great bookish info, best-of lists and monthly newsletters for members.  It's fun to add a book to my shelf and automatically see if any friends have already read it, and given it a review.  And, of course, it's nice to see your friends reviews/star ratings in real time, and what they're adding to their to-read shelves - especially when a book pops up that everyone seems to be adding at the same time.
Okay, I think with all this talking of books, I really ought to go and actually read my book right now...


  1. Great tips! I'm going to check out the blogs you recommended. I've always been a big fan of the local library and can't remember the last time I bought a book. Overdrive is awesome. I love being able to read anywhere, anytime on my iPhone.