What to read, what to read?
I’m sure you have a stack of To Be Read books on your bedside table. Mine is here:
Some are in the stack because I’ve read a review, some are recommendations from friends, and some are books I’ve stumbled across at the library. There’s no guarantee that I’ll read all of these. I generally read the first few pages, and if I’m hooked, I’ll give it the first 100 pages. If I’m finding it a chore to finish, then I’ll move on to something else. Life is too short to read boring books.
What do you do when you’re wondering what to read next?
I turn to the Internet. The following are some of the websites I consult when I need to add to my To Be Read pile.
What should I read next? is a great, easy to use site. Simply type in the name of a book you liked, click on the title and you get a list of recommendations. I typed in The Night Circus, and got 50 recommendations, 11 of which I had already read, and all of which I liked, so I’m pretty confident that I’ll like the other 39.
Note, though, that as with all of these sites, the recommendations are based on members’ books lists, so if readers haven’t read a particular book you won’t get any recommendations based on it. Case in point, I entered The Improbability of Love, and got zero recommendations.
I’ve been a member of LibraryThing for years. I initially joined because of its online book cataloguing service (nerdy librarian disclaimer), but it’s also a great site for recommendations. Specifically because so many members have their whole (extensive) libraries catalogued, the breadth is fabulous and the recommendations are generally very good.
In addition to recommending titles, LibraryThing also gives you a “tag cloud” for each title, so you can look for other books based on how readers tagged this one (for example, if you loved The Illegal (and I did) you could search for other books by Canadian authors, or about political corruption, or about refugees or about runners.)
“BookBrowse is an online magazine for booklovers – including reviews, previews, “behind the book” backstories, author interviews, reading guides, and much more.”
BookBrowse is a subscription site, however you can still access suggestions, recommendations, and a limited number of “readalikes” (recommendations based on a title or author you input.)
I clicked on “Your next great read: Fiction” and one of the recommendations was The Summer Before the War, which happens to be sitting next me at this very moment as one of my next reads.
Some people love it, some not so much, but Goodreads is a great place to browse to see what others are reading and what they’re saying about the books they’re reading.
You can set your favourite genres and receive recommendations based on those, or you can add books to your “library” and rate them and then get books based on what you’ve rated highly.
I like to visit Goodreads to see what books people are talking about, and to read the reviews after I finish a book (note: the reviews often have spoilers, so wait until you’ve finished the book before checking out the Goodreads reviews.)
Olmenta is less a book recommendation service and more a virtual shelf of books by genre, and not necessarily the latest books. When you click on a book cover you get a brief plot blurb. This is a great site to visit if you like to judge books by their covers.
Have a go-to site for finding your next great read? Let me know!