If you’re anything like I was, then you might be trying to learn how to find good books to read.
No matter if you’ve been reading for years, you’re trying to get back into the swing of things or, you’re just starting out, learning how to find good books to read can be a challenge.
Visual learner? Watch the video:
After all, how on earth are you supposed to know if you’ll like a book without reading it first?
So, you might have contacted friends, family, coworkers and even your cat to figure out what type of books they like to read, to get you started.
But if you’re anything like me, that didn’t work out too well. After all, their tastes are not yours.
So without the advice of friends and family to rely on, how do you find the best books to read?
Ones that YOU specifically will love?
How to find good books to read
Well, stay tuned because in this article I’m going to share 3 methods for finding great books to read so you can pick and choose which you prefer.
Method #1: Use Goodreads
If you’ve not heard of it, Goodreads is an app and website that allows you to track all the books you’ve read, leave reviews, create bookshelves and more.
It’s basically the go-to social media platform for book lovers. Essentially, you can add your friends and snoop on what they’re reading.
It may be clunky and a bit broken, but Goodreads is a great tool for finding your next book.
Here are a few ways you can use it.
Search and find
If you don’t want to sign up for a Goodreads account, you can simply search for a book you’ve previously enjoyed in Goodreads and you’ll see a list of books other readers have also enjoyed.
For example, if I search The Hunger Games and click see similar books, you can see the recommendations are pretty spot on.
Check out your friends’ books
If you’re willing to sign up for a Goodreads account (which is free), you’ll also be able to see what your friends are reading or are interested in reading and if they like the books they’ve read.
From there, you can browse to your heart’s content.
I’ve found so many great books just by snooping on my friends.
Plus, every book has a reader reviews section so you can check up on a book before purchasing.
This might seem strange, but I don’t recommend you use the ‘recommendations’ feature in Goodreads. After reading over 210 books it’s still not quite got it right.
Okay, so let’s move on from Goodreads.
Method #2: Use Google
My second method for finding books you’ll love to read is to use good old Google.
I mentioned this method in my previous read more books article, but it’s worth talking about again.
If you quite literally have no idea what to read and have no previous books to use as inspiration, I recommend doing the following:
- If you’re looking for fiction books, think of a film or TV series you loved watching, then type into Google ‘books like’ and then add in your film or TV series.
- For example, if I search ‘books like the TV series Lucifer’, I’ll see some adverts and then a whole host of suggested books for me to read.
- If you’re looking for non-fiction books, type in ‘the best books on’ and then add your topic of choice.
- For example, if I type in ‘the best books on decluttering’, I’ll see a whole load of suggestions and some useful websites to take a look at too.
The recommendations that pop up will be varied depending on what you search. You’ll likely see ad recommendations first and then some articles with more suggestions.
Have a scroll through all of these and pick out a few books that pique your interest.
Don’t spend too long searching though. It’s better to pick something to read and get reading, then spend all your time finding the perfect book – trust me!
Bonus tip time!
One thing I recommend you do, especially when you’re trying to find books YOU will specifically love, is to avoid best sellers.
There’s nothing wrong with a best seller book, but the hype around these books doesn’t mean you’ll actually love them.
It might just mean they have a big marketing budget or a big name behind them.
If in doubt, check the reader reviews on Goodreads!
Method #3: Ask an expert
Okay back to the methods. My third method for finding books you’ll absolutely love is to talk to an expert.
If you can, go to your local book store and ask someone there to help you find a good book.
They are in a magical position to help you with their years of training and expert knowledge, they’ve likely also read a lot of the books themselves.
But don’t just turn up to your local book shop empty-handed. You’ll need to come armed with plenty of useful information.
Tell them the genre of books you like, if you like action, or want something calming, or you just want to escape. If in doubt, go back to the films and TV series you like, they’ll be able to help from there.
Bonus tip #2
But here’s my biggest tip of all, and yes, it’s another bonus tip… try things out, if you don’t like it, move on to the next.
Such a boring tip right, but it’s probably the best one I’ve got.
The best way to truly understand the type of books you like to read is to read.
As you read more, you’ll naturally notice patterns and you’ll start to pay attention to the things you like and don’t like.
Take me for example. I don’t enjoy fiction books with too much description – I want them to get to the action, not describe every item on the table (I’m looking at you, atonement!).
For non-fiction, I enjoy books that combine storytelling with science and a bit of humour chucked in for good measure.
You might actually like lots of descriptions, aren’t into science at all and really cringe when people try to be funny when they aren’t.
So, go out there and find the best books possible, for YOU and let me know in the comments what techniques you use for finding great books.