There is a pleasurable feeling in recommending a good book to a person and having them enjoy it as much as you do. Whether it’s mystery, fantasy, dystopian, post-apocalyptic, or even romance, the question I get asked the most is: “how do you find these books?” Whether it’s my spy-like research skills or my lack of an abundant social life; finding good books has become my forte. Here is a list of my favorite ways of coming across rich, compelling, and MEMORABLE books.
Yes, this is a source that many of us bookworms recur to, but what some people may not use often is the Listopia section on GoodReads. Listopia is my holy grail on finding books specific to my own cravings. What I mean is this, if I am sitting alone on a Saturday night in need of a funny young adult novel, I look up “funny young adult novels” on GoodReads and the Listopia section works its magic. Recently, I fell in love with Diana Gabaldon’s, Outlander, and because I craved more of that Scottish galore, I used Listopia to find books within that framework. Trust me, it was verra verra helpful.
Disclaimer: this is a method that works best on google if you’re using a phone because the app does not let you search through the lists.
This one is a fairly simple one. This is a tool that can be used to specify your own interest with a single word or phrase. This is a great way of finding books that are being read from people all over the world and their opinions on whether they liked it or not. One of my all-time favorite novels was found through Instagram (Me Before You by Jojo Moyes) and all it took was to search up “NewAdultLit,” and voila! There are, of course, an abundant of professional reviews that lean toward the academic, but reading the reviews left by your average joe has a definite magic in its own.
Yes, it’s a thing, and one that is garnering more and more attention. This is the area that is dedicated towards YouTubers who make videos about the books they buy, read, and review. Among these videos may be a couple centered on book events, top ten books of the year and anything related to literature. One user I follow is PeruseProject and if you love fantasy fiction, she has some great titles to recommend such as The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima. (Tune in soon for my review!)
The wonderful thing about Pinterest is that you can browse through just about any topic without feeling bored or overwhelmed. One thing this site does beautifully is the lists: “15 Books to Read Before They Hit Theatres,” “31 Books That Every Badass Woman Should Read,” “50 Books, 50 States,” the possibilities are endless. This is a great way of finding books that are popular amongst readers. That is to say that not all popular books are necessarily good, it is up to us as the readers to investigate and decide whether it is right up our alley.
Last but not least there is the library, an ancient but useful source of information. It would seem as though we are forgetting the value of a good library and it is important to take advantage of the resources it provides. What I like to do is grab a list of books I am interested, grab them from the shelf, and sit down and preview them. Not only do I save money, but if the preview of a novel is not good enough, I save time as well. After all, nothing is more frustrating than tossing a book across the wall because it was just…ugh.
Ultimately, the best resource for finding books is yourself. Everyone has different tastes and only you can decide whether a book is good or not, so make smart choices. Do not believe the advertising made by the New York Times on the cover of a book, but take the time to find out the plot, setting, theme, and length. Trust yourself and follow your gut.