With my (very) extensive TBR, I have a lot to say on how to find new books to read– although I’m not particularly qualified to explain how to pick one to read first.
1) Browse the library/bookstore
Starting off with the first (and perhaps the most archaic) option: walk into a library (or bookstore) and just peruse the shelves like a good, old-fashioned bibliophile. This one doesn’t need much more explanation.
Now that vaccines are ramping up, this option might be more viable soon (and only a book addict could understand how desperately I have been craving going to the library and bookstore! The day can’t come soon enough!)
When I was younger I could spend hours at the library. I would literally just walk through the YA section in alphabetical order, stopping at any book that looked interesting and reading the summary. It’s a great way to find random backlist books that might just become new favorites.
2) Get recommendations from the book Internet
This one is pretty obvious!
Lots of people on WordPress and elsewhere on the internet make a regular habit of posting recommendation posts. Here are some of my own (sneaky self-promo time):
Booktube is also a great place to find recommendations. I often search up “Best books of <insert year>” or “<genre> recommendations” to add bursts of new books to my TBR
(I prefer to keep my TBR as long as possible so I can always comb through it to find the perfect book to suit my mood at the time. This is a discussion post for another day, but I never, ever plan out my reading. Every book I pick up is on impulse; I just have a general idea of books I’d like to read eventually.)
3) Check out Goodreads’ Listopia
Goodreads has an entire section of its website dedicated to user-created lists of books, so if you’re looking for a certain type of tome, this section of the site is your best friend. You can easily find a list of pretty much any type of book under the sun.
4) Find New-Release Lists
If you want to be ahead of the curve in finding the next, hottest thing in the book world, make sure to spend some time looking at new-release lists. Here’s a new-release-appreciative post I wrote a few weeks ago. (I can’t attest to the quality of those books, though, since I haven’t actually read them)
And that’s the difficulty with new releases in general: you won’t quite know what you’re getting into at first. If it’s a really new book, you’ll have to go in with just the premise and a few of the ARC reviews.
5) Book Awards
One fairly consistent way to find good books is to look up the nominees for various book awards.
Looking for a children’s/MG novel? The Newbery Award list is a good place to start. The National Book Award is also pretty reliable. Looking for some non-fiction? Try looking at the YALSA Non-fiction Book Award. There are so many different awards that there is no way I’ll be able to list all of them here, but you get the picture. Oh yeah, there’s also the Goodreads Choice Awards.
Each award kind of has its own feel, if you know what I mean; the Newbery Award is usually given to “serious”, literary, and often depressing kid’s books (I was a heavy Newbery reader in elementary/middle school), while something like the Goodreads Choice Awards usually goes to really-popular-on-the-Internet books.
6) Read other books from the authors of your favorite books
If you have a particular favorite book that had an awesome writing style and a great…. vibe… try researching the author to see whether he or she has written anything else. You’ll probably discover some seriously underrated books. Ex: did you know L.M. Montgomery wrote nineteen other books besides her well-known Anne of Green Gables and hundreds of short stories?
That’s all for today’s post! I’m not sure how helpful that was, but I have a very specific system for finding books to read and this is some of it.
This post might be a little common-sense, but I felt like writing it so… here we are.