Choosing just the right book is a tall order (and this is coming from a tall individual!). If you’ve been to your local bookstore or library lately, you know how overwhelming it can be - you see all the eye-catching covers, but you have no idea if the content will keep your interest. Here are some tips on how to match yourself with your next great read!
1) Get under the covers: The adage about not judging a book by its cover doesn’t always work; sometimes what you see on the outside is exactly what you get on the inside! If you’re drawn to a beautiful book, read the back cover and inside flaps to get a better idea of the content. Publishers and authors work very hard to ensure that the cover art is a visual representation of the book’s themes and content. Chances are, if you like the cover, you will love the book!
2) Timing is everything: We love characters that have relatable emotions or life experiences. If we’re going through a breakup, the last thing we want to read about is a happy couple, right?! We want to be able to connect with our characters on a deeper level. Searching for a new book based on a relatable theme is a great way to select the right book for you!
3) Recommendations: Personal endorsements are sometimes the best ways to find a good book, especially if the recommender knows you well. Ask for recommendations from any avid reader that you know - friends, family members, teachers, or librarians. Recommendations don’t have to be personal - Good Reads is a site that offers reviews of popular titles, as well as voters’ lists of the best novels of the year.
4) Blogs and Awards Lists: If you don’t have voracious readers in your life who can personally recommend titles to you, checking out awards lists for current popular titles (such as the Michael Printz Medal or the William C Morris Award), and blogs - or even literary Instagram accounts - is a great idea. Awards lists and blogs can focus on themes or genres of interest, which can be helpful in your search.
5) The Same – Only Different: Sometimes the best way to find your next great read is by reviewing your previous ones. Sticking with an author and working through their titles, or, looking at what they’re reading or recommending through their social media accounts, are steadfast ways to ensure that you won’t select a dud.
Picking your next great read isn’t always easy; the good news is if you’re unhappy with your choice, unlike Goldilocks, you have more than three (baby, mama, papa - sized) options to choose from!