This is a guest post that I did for Madi at And So I Did! Hope you enjoy, and sorry it’s a day late!
So, you walk in to Barnes and Noble or into Hastings or whatever bookstore that you would normally visit. You look around, overwhelmed by the sheer volume of books on the shelves. At that point, people typically do one of two things: they go to the shelf that they always go to and pick something, or in their overwhelmed state they wander the aisles never making a decision.
Now, I am all for wandering the aisles, seeing what covers attract your attention, it’s actually one of my favorite Saturday afternoon pastimes, but I am more a fan of finding a book that I will love. Wandering the shelves is one way to do it, but after years of practice, I’ve developed a few tried and true methods of finding books that I love.
1. Look at books by authors that you love. If I find an author that I love to read, I will read literally everything ever written by that author. I sometimes become borderline obsessed, following twitters, instagrams, facebooks, and reading their blogs. When I first found Brandon Mull, a middle grade/ young adult writer through his Fablehaven series, I devoured every book he wrote, and every book delivers.
2.This borderline obsession works for me in different ways though. For example, after reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgernstern and becoming a serious fangirl of hers, she blogged about a book, The Enchanters, that is now on my bedside table in the “To Be Read” pile. I would have never found that book without her recommendation.
3.Another way that I have found great books to read is pretty simple. I had just finished The Witch of Little Italy by Suzanne Palmieri and found myself in love with the writing, with the characters and their stories. I was devastated when in my search for more by the same author, there was only one other book and it wasn’t in a similar genre. I ordered it anyways, but was a little distraught. I just happened to scroll to the bottom of the Barnes and Noble that says “Customers Who Bought This Also Bought…” and it lists books that are similar or at least purchased by the same people who had also purchased the book that I loved so much. Not all of those books were my kind of books, but that list led me to The House at the End of Hope Street by Menna Van Praag and that was beyond worth it.
4. Follow people who read books. Talk to people who read books. Books are so easy to talk about! One way that I’ve created a space for these discussions is through my use of GoodReads. There is a website as well as an app for the telly, so I always have it with me. Anytime I get a book recommendation, I immediately add it to my To Read shelf (this is mine), and anytime I feel like I don’t know what to read, I scroll that list. It’s also nice because you can add friends on GoodReads and look at their books and book recommendations. Here is my profile! Feel free to add me!
The most important thing I’ve learned from my recent reading is to put the book down if it doesn’t work for you. Give it a fair shot, I usually try to hit the halfway point, but if it doesn’t do it for you, just stop reading. There are too many great books out there to waste time reading a novel that doesn’t work for you.
What do you do to make sure that you pick a great book?