Finding Your Next Book

Here’s a Valentine’s Day question: how do you find your next good book?

I read about a book a week, year-round (though that doesn’t include the books I abandon after a few pages—or even halfway through). Right now, more books than I could possibly consume already clog up both my bedside table and my Kindle app. At other times, I struggle to find something that grabs me. It seems to go in phases.

No matter what phase I’m in, my next book comes from one of three sources:

so many books so little time
So many books, so little time…

Personal recommendations

I have one friend in particular who does more for my reading variety than anyone else, physically passing on books she has enjoyed. So many are books I wouldn’t have picked for myself, and yet I find myself drawn into each world by a synergy of words, ideas, and imagery—surprised into caring about something completely unexpected and outside of my own experience. The most memorable books take us places we couldn’t otherwise go. 


Like books themselves, there are just too many lists to keep track of… but there are a few key places where I find reviews that intrigue me. The New Yorker is kind of a “stretch” goal; many of the books reviewed there I find too heavy, or too heavy-handed, for bedtime reading. At the other end of the reviewing spectrum is Goodreads, where I try to at least rate every book I crack open (even those on my Did Not Finish list); feel free to follow along. 

Physical Browsing

Though I find it hard to browse online, bookstores and libraries are like mecca. Armed with a Christmas gift certificate to Island Books (or just my library card), I wander through the shelves, sampling just enough of a tempting title to drop into a whole new world.

What to look for

A “good read” is quite personal, which is why recommendations from trusted sources are so valuable. When browsing, my first attraction point is the cover—but I always read at least the first page before buying or borrowing. If I’m still on the fence, I will page halfway through and read the first paragraph of a random chapter. The plot might not yet make any sense, but I will instantly know whether the book has been edited equally well all the way through.

Book browsing is not just a way to find my next bedtime story; it also teaches me what grabs a reader. So how do YOU find your next good read? Let me know in the comments below, or email me directly: carolncroninATgmailDOTcom. Thanks for reading!

To see what I’ve chosen for my next read, follow me on Goodreads

3 Replies to “Finding Your Next Book”

  1. Easy for me, my wife puts books on my night stand that she knows I will love. Also book store browsing and what I find on-line. Always nice to have a stack ready to go.

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