What do you do when you can’t find books you like? The struggle is real. Millions of books available at our fingertips. How do we manage the avalanche to find the books for us?
Fortunately, along with the avalanche comes new ways to find all the best books.
Follow your favorite authors and see who they like to read
There’s so many great ways to connect to your favorite authors these days! Do a little research to see if they are on twitter, facebook or instagram. Find their website. Sign up for their email updates.
There’s no longer a castle wall and a moat around your favorite author. Your messages will get through.
See if they clue their fans into their favorite books and authors. Writers are almost always voracious readers. If you like what they write, you’re likely to like what they read.
Some celebrities are known for their booklists and book clubs, including Steve Jobs, Reese Witherspoon and Oprah.
Follow #bookstagrammers on Instagram
If you have an instagram account, follow the hashtag #bookstagram. It will fill your newsfeed with books. Soon you’ll find bookstagrammers with similar tastes to yours.
When you find a bookish twin, it will be easy to find book recommendations that fit your tastes to a tee. If they send out email updates, sign up!
Find a Little Free Library and Browse
Little Free Libraries are a growing trend where books are swapped out by people willing to donate and willing to trade.
Each one is privately owned. They are unmanned and uncontrolled.
Look to find one near you and check it out if you’re ready for an unplanned book adventure.
Find book bloggers you like and follow them
Book bloggers have changed not just my reading life, but my life.
I need to read and I have a hard time finding books I really like.
Book bloggers give me the inside scoop so I can find those great books.
Look for podcasts about books
Read to Lead, Read Aloud Revival and What Should I Read Next? are some of my favorites.
Podcasts can be outsourced to multi-tasking. So, listening to podcasts doesn’t have to take up extra time. It could be time you’re already using.
The downside is that when you’re doing something else, it’s not a good time to take notes. But, often podcasts will have show notes where you can access the critical information that you aren’t able to jot down while you’re listening.
Start a GoodReads account
GoodReads is owned by Amazon, but it has developed a life of it’s own.
Set up your own account. Now you can see what your friends and your favorite authors are reading. You can see what’s popular and which books are getting good reviews. You can keep up with new releases in your favorite genre.
Next you can create a To Be Read list. You can post your own reviews, start a list that others can vote on or add to and find quotes from your favorite authors.
GoodReads is a great place to go to find Beach Reads, Chick Lit, Clean and Wholesome Romance, Young Adult, Middle Grade, Fantasy— every kind of book you can think of.
Connect with other readers. Connect with authors. Find Book Club Picks. GoodReads is a good place to go.
Check out Amazon suggestions
Amazon will suggest products to you that are similar to what you’ve purchased or even looked for before.
Sometimes these can be a good fit.
Take advantage of Amazon’s book reviews. Not only can you find out if people are liking a book or not, you can find out why. That’s information you won’t get from a bestseller list.
Try a book search site
There’s some interesting new ones available now. Check out whichbook.com.
On that site you can choose up to 4 sliding scales of what you’re looking for in a book. Among the characteristics you can find are Happy-Sad, Sex-No Sex, Gentle-Violent, Short-Long.
It approaches books in a different way, not the traditional rating system.
What Should I Read Next? also allows you to input your preferences to find the right books for you.
Put Google to work for you
It’s become an instinctive response to turn to google to answer any questions that we have. Why not use it to find books you like?
Google Read Alikes for your favorite books.
Read alikes are books that are similar to a popular book that you loved. Look for the phrase “If you liked ****** book, you’ll like ********”
Google your top book requirements.
Do you like twisty plots? relatable characters? satisfying endings? well-crafted prose? traditional values? See what comes up.
What we’re looking for in a book is different from everyone else. So, we don’t have to get the same answers as everyone else.
Join a Facebook Group with readers of similar interest
Do some digging to find facebook groups of book lovers. Sometimes we’re in too many groups to keep up with. That’s something that needs to be managed as well.
Check out Audible, Libro.fm and your local library for audiobooks
The popularity of audiobooks is rocketing.
Commuting, exercising and performing household chores pair naturally with consuming audiobooks. People with no time to read are suddenly devouring books on audio.
Some audio versions are exceptionally well done and a pleasure to listen to. Refer back to those book bloggers for which books are better on audio.
Look at Bestseller Lists as a last resort
The bottom line is, there’s a lot better books for you than the ones on the best seller lists. They typically continue to sell because they have a platform and people take notice. But, that leaves hundreds, thousands and maybe even millions of great books unnoticed, in the shadows because they didn’t hit a bestseller list.
Even though the New York Times Bestseller List has been the gold standard, the grand daddy of the lists, the wagon to hitch your star to, it is not reliable.
Tim Grahl explains the truth about best seller lists. In short, the list is manipulated and doesn’t accurately represent which books are selling the most copies.
For one thing, it matters how many books are selling in general that week. Some weeks there’s not much competition, other weeks it’s very stiff.
The New York Times gets it’s reports from select bookstores which might not represent sales across the board. They also admit to tweaking the list, and their bias against certain books shows, notably politically conservative books.
I think this is significant. Check out my post 10 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Buy Bestsellers.