Finding Your Next Good Read

Guess how long it’s been since I read a physical book…

There are more books out there than ever—1.5 million published in 2011 alone, according to Bowker.  Picking the gold from the dross can be tough.  So what’s a reader to do?

The first and easiest option is to search for other books by authors you like, next in series, that sort of thing.  In genre fiction, it’s easier to find a ten-book series than a standalone, so a handful of favorite authors can keep you going for quite a while.  I tend to devour series in a single gulp, then add any forthcoming titles to my “Upcoming Books” list (currently 22 strong, and that’s just the books with titles and release dates).

But what about finding something totally new?

For me, it’s an almost alchemical melding of social media, bookseller promotion, and happenstance.  A title gets bandied about on Twitter, mentioned in blog posts.  Then maybe it’ll get discussed on one of my genre podcasts, and I’ll add it to my list.  Then Amazon will promote it as the ebook of the day, $1.99!  I’ll grab the preview, read it, buy it.

Or maybe I’ve never heard of it before the promotion, but it ends up being the best thing I’ve read all year, and then I’ll go look up everything the author’s ever written.

Or maybe I came across a book review, or it won the Hugo, or the author did a guest blog post, or any of a dozen other things.  Totally unscientific, but it works for me.

What it really comes down to is finding a few sources you trust—book review sites, Goodreads¹ friends, actual friends—and keep your eyes open. There are free previews available online for just about any book, and it usually doesn’t take long to tell if it’s something I’ll like.  Pretty soon, your only trouble will be deciding which super-amazing book to read first.

So how about you?  What are your favorite places to find books?

1. If you love fantasy, YA, or science fiction, check out my Goodreads shelf.  I could use some more friends of similar taste…

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  1. Pingback: Influence of Words « booksbyjudith

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