How to Find Your Next Favourite Book
Trying to find a new book to read this winter? Something to make those commutes more bearable or perhaps something to take your mind off of the pandemic?
Finding a new book can be a challenge, especially if you’ve exhausted all the books from your regular authors. Well, lucky for you I have put together a list of resources that can be perfect to help you find that next favourite book!
Arguably the most well-known site for finding books is the tried and true Goodreads. Not only does it have an extensive list of features, such as offering recommendations based on what books you’ve read - only if you sign up for a (free) account - but it has more of a community. For example, the comments section for each book is an excellent way to get a feel for the book and how people have received it.
Goodreads also offers search options for similar books to the one you’re looking at and gives extensive lists for different genres, as well as being easily navigable to find other books in the series or books by the same author.
#2 Twitter and Bookstagram
Having recently joined Twitter I was greeted with an amazing community of writers, from seasoned professionals to new authors to writers still working on their first #WIP. Not only is Twitter a great place to connect with the community, but it is also the perfect place to find new books. A frequent post theme is a #writerslift which involves writers encouraging other writers to share their novels whether they be the latest in a long list or debut novels. Personally, I love buying books from people I have interacted with, not only are you supporting writers, but it makes reading these books more meaningful. You can find all genres of writers on Twitter and the recommendations come to you, either from the author themselves or from people sharing the books they love.
Bookstagram is another wonderful community that is constantly sharing new books and discussing their favourites. It’s a community of kind people who love chatting about books and is one of the best places to see both popular and underrated books, and to see what people have thought of them – authors are often found here as well, and this can be a great place to chat to them and find out what they write. Bookstagram often shows bookstagrammers working with authors/ publishers to promote upcoming books as well, so you can find a variety of new books you for you to look forward to! The only downside is that certain genres are favoured, such as Fantasy, Romance and Contemporary – as are more popular/well-known books. There are lots of other genres/ less known books shown on individual accounts however it takes some looking to find accounts that match your preferences.
Whilst the layout of this website is very basic, it is a quick and easy way to find new authors to try. It only asks for your three favourite authors before offering you similar options, giving you the choice of selecting whether you already like the author, don’t like the author or you don’t know for each selection, tailoring the results to your preferences. This can be done repeatedly with a different set of favourite authors, however, when you enter authors in the same genre with similar writing styles you get limited recommendations.
Ultimately this is a great way to help you find some new authors to try but only has benefit the first few times you use it unless you choose authors from different genres. The other downside is that it only gives you a selection of author names but doesn’t tell you anything about them, no links or even a brief one-liner telling you what they write if you want to know more (or anything) about them you have to do this research yourself.
This is an easy to use website that has the benefit of not requiring you to make an account. However, this website is better used to search for authors than specific titles, as a lot of less known titles are not found on this site. Following that, this isn’t ideal for more obscure authors and whilst it does offer an author bio to inform you of what they write, it isn’t easy to search the author's book catalogue.
#5 Amazon and kindle
I frequently use Amazon to purchase books which often leads to me following the trail of ‘customers who bought this also bought..’ which can offer some real gems, assuming customers read mainly the one genre. However, this doesn’t always pan out. Kindle, however, is owned by Amazon and has an endless amount of offers and suggestions based on what you read or what you are looking for, but this does require you to own a Kindle device or tablet that can download books.
These are my top 5 sites to visit when looking for a new book, however, there are more out there. One method I feel deserves a mention is bookstores and book fairs. Whilst this might not be ideal right now – pandemic dependent! – it is still a great way to browse new books, I find bookstores especially helpful when I’m looking for a new genre to try and not only do they give a good selection of the best books but the staff are there to guide you. Though there aren’t that many bookstores around, I try to go and support them when I can.
I hope these suggestions help you find your next best read! I’d love to know what your favourite way to find new books is, or if you think there are any key sites I left out?