A short post on how to find your next book to read. I don’t consider whether it is a good book to read or not (that is a different post), but there are also some more reputable sources than others when trying to find great books to read.
Browse the library shelves
Most of the time, I will put holds on books at the library. When I go into the library, I’ll first browse the business and non-fiction shelves. Since the library books are always changing (whether they get new books, people returning books in different locations, etc.), there are always new books on the shelves.
I like to browse and see what catches my eye. Not all of the titles will catch my eye, but sometimes a few interesting topics will come up. I will take out these books, but whether or not I give them time depends on a quick read of the first few chapters. If I can find something right away that is useful, I continue reading, otherwise I give up and check out other books.
Currently, I am subscribed to the following reading lists: Ryan Holiday, Neil Pasricha, Seth Godin, Derek Sivers and Jeffrey Gitomer. I like to follow individuals who I want to emulate, and I figure that if I can read similar books, I can emulate some of their thinking and mindsets.
Book references in current books I am reading
Anybody that writes a great book needs to consider all of the previous books on the same or similar subjects. Any time the author refers to a passage or quote from another book, I note down the book and look for it later.
Looking at an author’s full list of books
Depending on the book and how I feel about it, I like to look up other books by the same author to see what else they have wrote about. Some authors write about similar subjects. Other authors use their style and perspective to write similar books, but about different subjects. In almost all cases, if I like one book by an author, chances are, I will like the other books by the same author.
Looking at Amazon recommendations
I am fortunate enough to be able to use Amazon for a lot of my book shopping. This means that the Amazon algorithms often recommend books that they think I would like, based on how other shoppers have bought books. This gives me a good idea of what books may be next on my reading list, and if I can’t find the book at the library, I’ll save it to my wish list and wait for a sale.
Recommendations from friends and coworkers
Out of my friends and coworkers, I would humbly say that I read more books than any of them. But, any time a friend or a colleague recommends a book that I haven’t heard, I will note it down and make sure to check it out later. This has resulted in a few books that I wouldn’t have thought of reading, and certainly a good start if you have well-read people around you.
Best seller lists
Typically, I don’t like to look at best seller lists. They are often gamed. And I like to practice thinking widely about topics, so I don’t want to read books that have been consumed by many. I also tend to like non-fiction books. However, there are some books that are certainly worth my time that has been on the best seller lists. I would say that these are books where I have read the author’s previous books or that have been recommended in other places.
How do you find great books to read? What is your filter? Do you have a go-to place that I haven’t listed above? Let me know in the comments!