How to find good books to read next (from someone who reads *a lot*)

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Forget trying to finish a difficult book, finding a good book to read next can be one of the most difficult parts of reading.

You might know that you love reading, but there are just so many books out there…. and it can seem like none of them is the right fit for you now.

So what to read next?

Here’s how I find good books to read next and never run out of ideas on my to-read list…

How to find good books to read next

1. Find new books on Reddit

Reddit is one of my favourite places to find good books to read. My favourite bookish subreddits to browse and ask for book recommendations are:

  • r/booksuggestions – Let the community know what you want and they’ll help you find a great book.
  • r/suggestmeabook – Need an idea what to read next? Share what you’ve enjoyed in the past, or what you’re looking for, and let the community suggest a book (or books) for you to read.
  • r/BooksThatFeelLikeThis – A place to get book recommendations based on a picture.

2. Know what you already like – and find similar books to read next

Okay, so this is one of the most obvious recommendations for finding good books. But take a moment to think about the books you love and want to read more of.

Maybe you recently read A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers and now want more sci-fi books with hopeful vibes.

You might know that Rosamunde Pilcher’s heartwarming characters will always be your literary best friends.

Start by thinking about what you already like, then see what Google has to recommend for more like that. Often there’ll be a blog post of recommendations, or you can check Goodreads for similar books.

3. Use Goodreads (or an alternative) to catalog your reading

Over a decade in, Goodreads is still the most popular way to track your reading, catalog your library, and find new books.

Goodreads was bought by Amazon in 2013, which has made it less impartial and independent, but it’s still got an enormous user base.

After adding the books you’ve read and what you think of them, you can easily find recommendations for similar books. Also, you can check user-generated lists of books in genres and themes you love.

If you’d prefer to use another app to track your reading, some of the best alternatives to Goodreads are:

  • StoryGraph – a smoothly designed alternative to Goodreads that makes it easy to import your data.
  • LibraryThing – a Goodreads alternative (without an app) with a huge catalog, a clever “recommended” tab for each book, and the ability to import from Goodreads.

4. Find new books on Book Marks

Book Marks (bookmarks.reviews) is one of my favourite places to find good books to read. You can think of it as Metacritic for books: it aggregates critical reviews of books and gives each one a grade.

This is what I embed on my Book Club page to share what the critics think of my choices, such as this example for A Line in the World by Dorthe Nors:

5. Read more from your favourite authors

Have you read everything by your favourite authors? I always find myself topping up my reading list after researching what my favourite writers have been publishing (even if it was a century before I was even born).

To prioritize what to read next, use Goodreads to check user reviews. I tend to be unfairly strict and bias my reading towards books that are rated 4.0 or higher on Goodreads unless:

1) I love the author

2) I have been recommended the book by someone I trust

6. Check the Goodreads Choice Awards

To help me find good books to read next, there are a few book awards I pay attention to. But generally, I pay the most attention to reader-nominated awards.

My favourite reader-nominated award is the Goodreads Choice Awards, which is voted for annually in November (and the winners announced in December).

(For a good book to read next, the winner of the Goodreads Choice Award for Fiction in 2022 was the fantastic Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow.)

7. Follow book blogs in your favourite genres

As I’ve been spending more time reading and sharing my thoughts on books in the last year, I’ve also been following more book blogs.

Here are some of the best book blogs for 2023 that I love:

  • Books and Bao – Recommendations for diverse literature, from queer writers to books in translation, as well as unique travel guides.
  • Lit Hub – The best of the literary internet, every day.
  • CrimeReads – A book blog for crime fiction from the folks at Lit Hub.

8. Wander local bookstores and libraries

Don’t forget about the basics. Visiting local bookshops is still one of my favourite ways to find good books to read next.

In particular, independent bookshops can offer a treasure trove of unique recommendations and personalized advice.

And libraries! I adore my local library here in Copenhagen and rely on it for so much of my reading.

One of the best reasons to have a library card, no matter where you are in the world, is for access to Libby.

The Libby app gives you access to a huge selection of audiobooks, ebooks, newspapers, and magazines – for free! That’s totally worth getting a library card for.

To help you find more good books to read next, have a browse of Tolstoy Therapy.

Whether you’re looking for beautiful books, binge-worthy books, beach reads, or the best classics of all time, I hope you’ll find a few books to add to your TBR list. Happy reading!

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