How to Pick Your Next Book

to be read pileWhat should I read next, Elisa?

As an avid reader, I get this question a lot. And while I love to share books I enjoyed with others, I worry they won’t be their cup of tea. We all have different tastes when it comes to reading, so I’m never sure if the books I recommend are the right ones. While I’m happy to share my book recs, here are a few do’s and don’t for you to consider when choosing your next book.

Do: Think about what genre you like to read. Are you looking for a romance novel? Do you like mysteries or thrillers that keep you guessing? Is there a topic you want to learn more about? How about a celebrity memoir that you’ve been dying to read? Deciding what type of book you are in the mood for helps you weed out the titles you don’t want to read.

Don’t: Give in to the hype. Just because a book is on the bestsellers list or won a fancy award doesn’t mean it’s the right book for you. Take it from me. I’ve fallen for the hype and have been burned too many times.

Do:  Look at what books you have read and enjoyed. Selecting books similar to those you’ve already read is a good way to narrow your choices. Maybe there is a new book written by that author or a particular setting you want to revisit.

Don’t:  Don’t be afraid to quit a book. If you start reading a book 50-100 pages in and decide you don’t like it, put it down and find another book! It’s okay. You aren’t obligated to finish it. Life is short, and reading is supposed to be fun. There are plenty of books to choose from. Don’t waste your time on the ones you don’t like.

Do: Ask your friends what books they like. Be careful with this one. If your friend loves Stephen King and you want Emily Henry, find another friend to ask. Or better yet, visit your local independent bookstore and talk to the staff. Let them know what you are looking for. It is literally their job to know their inventory and help you pick the books that are right for you.

Don’t: Read the reviews on Amazon or Goodreads before you read the book. Every reader will have a different experience with a book. Some will love it. Others will hate it. Don’t let that influence you! Plus, you could read spoilers which could ruin the whole book before you even open it to the first page. Even if you are a “read the last page of the book first” type of reader, the reviews could talk you out of reading it altogether. Wait until you finish the book, then read the reviews and see if you agree with them.

Here is how I found my latest 5-star book – “The Perfect Marriage” by Jeneva Rose. I happen to love listening to book-themed podcasts. I knew I was in the mood for a psychological thriller, and this title popped up on a few summer reading episodes. And then the stars must have aligned because I saw the book was part of a sale on Audible. I knew this was a sign, so I downloaded it and finished it in two days. It was EXCELLENT!

I know the right book is out there for you too. Keep looking and enjoy your summer reading!

What are you reading lately, and how did you choose it? Tell me in the comments.



7 comments on How to Pick Your Next Book

  1. Tamara
    July 6, 2023 at 3:33 am (3 months ago)

    Typically I go by author. I am a “mainstream chick book reader”, I like Sophie Kinsella, Meg Cabot, Emily Giffin and the like.
    When I am at a bookstore or library, I open a book an a random page. If I like what I read, I buy/borrow the book. Surprisingly this has been working really well.
    On my TBR pile there are some (self help) books I ordered because a person in a FB group highly recommended them. I can’t bring myself to read them. Totally not my cup of tea.
    So of course the pressure is up now. I ordered “The Soulmate” because of you!!! 😉

    • Elisa
      July 6, 2023 at 6:17 pm (3 months ago)

      I love it! I used to read Meg Cabot. I didn’t know she was still writing books. I’ll have to take a look. Love that you open to random pages to see if it interests you. Hey, whatever works right?! Save the self-help books for another day and enjoy the Soulmate! Can’t wait to hear what you think of it.

  2. Doug
    July 6, 2023 at 12:10 am (3 months ago)

    When I find an author I like, I go looking for other books they have written. Now I am finding them co-authoring books with other people who have a story to tell.
    Between my local library and my Audible subscription, there is no shortage of books available online.

    • Elisa
      July 6, 2023 at 6:18 pm (3 months ago)

      Have you read any of the James Patterson ones where he co-authors with a famous person? I haven’t tried them yet. I’ve been wondering if they are good? And I agree between the library and my Kindle, I’m good for a long time!

  3. Angel Lewis
    July 5, 2023 at 10:04 pm (3 months ago)

    Great tips! I’m one of those people that will get angry with a character and stop reading the book LOL.

    • Elisa
      July 6, 2023 at 6:19 pm (3 months ago)

      That’s a good thing! Some people think the characters will get better and then they do or don’t. Way to be decisive with your reading life!

  4. Minette
    July 5, 2023 at 8:59 pm (3 months ago)

    These are great tips! I completely agree with not sticking with a book you’re not loving. Life is two short and there are too many great books out there

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