I got back into reading a few years ago. I’d always had my nose in a book as a child, but I dropped off the wagon a little in my teens, reading sporadically through holidays and school breaks until I finally recreated the habit of reading regularly. But the last couple of months, I’ve been a real fidget. It’s not that I don’t have options, I have far too many books on my to-read list, but I’ve been struggling to find one that captures my attention. Maybe I’d fallen into a bit of a genre rut, maybe I just needed something new to pull me out of my reading slump. So, I decided to set out on a quest for inspiration, specifically what should I read next-inspiration.
“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers.” – Charles W. Eliot
I use GoodReads almost daily. It’s an app and a website that lets you track the books you’re reading, complete reading challenges, rate and review books, as well as receive recommendations based on the books, authors and genres you enjoy. I like it especially for keeping record of my books on my ‘shelves’ (essentially, GoodRead’s term for lists) that I wish to read, have bought and have read. I tend to keep it simple and stick to that, but you could organise your books however you wanted. On top of that, I love the annual reading challenges and their personalised newsletters that keep you updated with recommendations and book news tailored to you.
Make a free account here: www.goodreads.com (not affiliated, just a big fan!)
2. Fellow readers
You may or may not have been surrounded by readers throughout your life. I’ve never had too many readers and definitely not avid ones at that. But, with the internet as vast as it is, there’s communities out there for every type of reader and every type of person. Sharing reading as an interest is a fantastic base for a friendship. Books are a doorway to the soul and sharing that with someone gives rise to stimulating conversations and a really intimate connection with the way someone thinks. Discussing books, even those you’ve read a thousand times, with someone might open your eyes to whole new perspectives.
Plus, of course, it’s a great place to find recommendations. Especially when someone gets a good understanding of your likes and dislikes, they’ll be a great new source of book recs.
3. Researching authors you love
I can be quite fussy with books, I like them with a lot of depth, a bit of grit, and a ton of novel ideas and creativity. Yet, when I find a book I love, I rarely look up other books by the same author. I’ve pledged now to do this because I know how much of a make or break prose is for me in a book. So, when you find a book you enjoy, dive into the author’s history of work – you’ll be guaranteed to find something else you love.
4. Recommendation generators
These can be a little hit or miss, but can give you some good inspiration. They match books by themes and often use user data (just like GoodReads) to base their recommendations in what other people like you have enjoyed. I’ve found some of my favourite authors and books this way. Although watch out – they do tend to generate quite generic suggestions so don’t expect anything too unusual or unheard of to pop up.
One such site is www.whatshouldireadnext.com, which like I said, doesn’t have a super diverse library, but can still give you some good suggestions, especially if you’re into popular fiction. Simply search for a book, author and the site will give you alist of recommendations to go with. You can also make lists on the platform, which is really handy.
I really like the generator on https://www.whichbook.net/. Using the ‘mood & emotions’ tab gives you sliders to narrow down your search, giving you the controls on the mood, shock level, safeness, violence, sex, (or lack of), easy-reading, etc.
5. Book reviewers
Have a look around for book recommendations online. Both YouTube and the blogging world have massive book-reading communities – there’s so many bloggers out there that you’ll be sure to find someone with similar taste and interests to you. You’ll want to find someone whose opinions are relevant to your own and who you can trust to make sure their recommendations are always on the mark for your taste.
I can never recommend reading as a habit to anyone more. I can’t argue that one media medium is more potent than another, but there’s something about books. They’re the perfect medium to hold depth, creativity and limitless imagination. I hope these tips for how to figure out what to read next are helpful and bring you to your next literary adventure.
If you’re trying to create a reading habit, I wrote up my top tips earlier this year to help you out so make sure you check that out before you go!
What books have you been loving? Make sure to tell me in the comments!
Happy reading. Love, Ella-Rose xx